(NEWSER) – When Peter Mattaliano decided to redo the fireplace in his NYC apartment, he called his construction-savvy brother to help him bust open the sealed unit. "We were joking that we might find Al Capone's money," Mattaliano tells the New York Times.
"Then my brother yelled to me and said, 'You're not going to believe this.'" He had unearthed letters written to Santa, signed by two children named Mary and Alfred. "I want a drum and a hook and ladder," read Alfred's letter from 1905, while a 1907 letter from Mary was stuffed in an envelope tagged for Santa in "Raindeerland." "The letters were written in this room, and for 100 years, they were just sitting there, waiting," Mattaliano says. After poking around on genealogy websites, Mattaliano found that Mary and Alfred were the kids of Irish immigrants Patrick and Esther McGann and the letters were written after Patrick died in 1904.
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