RUMFORD – After finding an old but well-preserved Valentine’s Day card in an attic wall he was tearing down on Monday, Selectman J. Arthur Boivin is trying to find its sender.

He wants to return the card to the writer, Theresa, who sent it to a Miss Burr, whom Boivin believes to be a teacher.

“This is at least 70 years old,” Boivin said on Wednesday afternoon while standing beside the horsehair plaster and lath-constructed wall. “I’m curious to see if this Theresa’s still alive.”

Boivin’s home of 40 years at 671 Crescent Ave. used to be the teachers’ dormitory for Rumford’s original Virginia School, which existed from 1875 into the 1960s when it was torn down, Boivin said.

The ornate red, gold and white card titled Valentine Greetings features a girl wearing an oversized red hat with a white feathered plume.

On the inside underneath a kneeling Cupid, the card, made by WhitneyMade of Worcester, Mass., reads, “All day long and all year through, Best of all the things I do, I like being friends with you.”

Written in cursive in ink on the back cover is “To Miss Burr, from Theresa.”

“I thought that I’ve got to hang on to that, because I’ve found some interesting newspaper stuff in the walls. I found parts of a Boston Globe from 1919 with one advertisement that had a 1919 Ford for sale for 300 and something dollars. I was just digging into the wall here and (the card) just fell out. Don’t ask me how it stayed in such good shape,” he said.

Intrigued by the find, Boivin, who likes to delve into Rumford history, said he began asking relatives and friends around town if anyone could recall a teacher named Burr.

“Miss Burr, if she was a young teacher, probably would have been 20 years old and she’d be 95 or 100 now, if she was still alive. But chances are that if Theresa was a student of hers, she may have survived. But, you know, maybe the student would like to get this back. It’s just cuter than hell,” Boivin said.


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