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Beacon Hill hidden treasures
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More hidden documents uncovered in Seattle home

The Beacon Hill couple who last year found a treasure trove of documents from World War II Soviet relief organizations and local Communist groups hidden in the ceiling of their home have made another discovery.

“We started kitchen demo day today,” wrote Josh Rohr in an email Tuesday. “And look what was behind our kitchen wall.”

Photos provided to KIRO Radio by Rohr show a lushly decorated certificate announcing that Alex Gavridsky “has merited membership in the DEFENDERS OF EAGLEDOM.”

The certificate is dated August 1, 1931, and appears to have been sitting upright, leaning against the plaster and lath of the wall. It comes from the Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE), a national fraternal organization – or lodge group – which was founded in Seattle in the late 19th century.

For its headquarters, the group built the grand Eagles Aerie #1 and historic Eagles Auditorium in downtown Seattle in 1924, now home to the ACT Theatre.

Last September, KIRO Radio spoke with Alex Gavridsky’s grandson; among the materials found earlier was Gavridsky’s Communist Political Association of Washington 1944 membership card. Gavridsky lived in the house — now owned by Josh Rohr and his husband Jeff Maggioli — for 40 years.

Found Tuesday along with the Eagles certificate was a business card for C. Murray and Queen City Dye Works, a tailor shop and cleaners located at 720 Olive in downtown Seattle.

Queen City Dye Works dates back to at least 1903, the earliest date of newspaper advertisements in the archives of The Seattle Times. The business lasted several decades and moved around downtown several times; the 720 Olive address looks to have been its location in the mid to late 1930s.

Josh Rohr says he was excited to uncover more pieces of history in the walls of the old house, which, like many Seattle area homes, still has several rooms in original, untouched condition.

“I wonder how many other treasures are tucked away here?” Rohr posited.

If anything else turns up, you’ll read about it here.

You can hear Feliks every Wednesday and Friday morning on Seattle’s Morning News and read more from him here. If you have a story idea, please email Feliks here.

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