One may say it’s a miracle that a lost Bible made its way back to its rightful owner after over 60 years.
Cameron Dixon of Barks and Recreation in Trail came across a travel-sized testament mid August in the garden outside of the downtown business. And after holding it for several days, decided to post photos of the book to a buy and sell via Facebook.
“I had since deleted all of the posts but it then took three weeks or so before people started really sharing the post and I started getting more interest and comments on the threads,” he said.
The signature on the inside, Margaret Larson, caught the eye of the family of Margaret Gwaltney of Marysville, near Kimberley. The 78-year-old woman spent her first couple decades in the Fruitvale area under her maiden name, Larson.
“I knew I had one but what became of it, I did not recall,” she said. “But when my husband brought it up on Facebook and said, ‘Come and look at this.’ And then I looked at it and went, ‘Oh my God, that’s mine.’”
As a young girl, Gwaltney attended catechism at the Catholic Church in Trail. Memories of the church, summer camp and the sisters don’t feel quite as distant now that she holds her treasure near and dear.
“It’s something that I can just hold in my hand, and I can open a page and read and I just feel comfort,” she said.
“I turned 78 years old this year, and it’s been a real challenge because I fractured a hip last September, and it’s been a challenging experience, and my faith has got me through difficult times.”
Gwaltney feels blessed to have eight children between her and her husband, Larry, 18 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Time has also been good to the book. Beyond the name on the inside, there are no noticeable marks on the pages. The only mystery that remains is the penmanship of most likely its most recent owner recorded on a couple notes tucked inside.
“You’ve got to wonder how many people maybe had it or whether it was just one person, and then they put it down and forgot about it,” said Cameron.
“It was just kind of cool, the whole social media side of things and that it actually worked out; that the original owner could be found for something super random like that.”