I've found lots of artifacts and other evidence about the history of our house as I've opened various walls and poked around in dark corners. According to the city's records, our house was built in 1911, but I don't think the upstairs was fully finished for a few years after that. The original owners had a young daughter who was kind enough to write her full name and the date on the tar paper behind the siding.
Her dad's name is also scrawled in another spot, and from that information, we were able to match the names with census sheets from 1920. I've also found lots of old newspapers from a range of dates, and a tube of "dental creme" aka toothpaste, and some painter's time sheets, but the names relate it all to the personal history of the folks that lived here.
I'm sure people from the east coast are not particularly impressed by stuff that's only 100 years old, but there isn't much around here from before 1900.