Postcard from the Past Sets Recipient on a Mission to Locate Rightful Owner

By KBJR News 1

June 28, 2013 Updated Jun 28, 2013 at 7:48 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - When 32-year-old Tyler Scouton checked his mailbox on West 9th Street Tuesday, one item—a postcard, to be exact—stood out.

"And I look at the back, and it looked modern—it looked new. But the name on there was somebody else. It was [mailed to Mr.] T. Gorkoski," said Scouton, holding the surprisingly new-looking postcard in his hands.

Both Scouton and his partner Kelly Mullan automatically dismissed it as a hoax, or ad.

"People try and do advertising campaigns that are intentionally vague, so that you'll have to go on–line and find out what's what," said Mullan.

But according to the postcard's date, it was anything but new. The postmark on the card, which featured a picture of a World War II–era submarine—the U.S.S. Cuttlefish—was dated April 23rd, 1945. Scribbled on the back: a personal message.

"[It reads], 'Hi, folks! So far I've survived two weeks of boat training. Boy Scout camping was more rigorous than this. The Navy might be alright, but not for civilians. The confinement is bad. – Len.' [It's ] addressed to Mr. T Gorkoski, 117 W. 9th St., Duluth, MN," read Scouton from the back of the card.

Before Tuesday was over, Scouton was busy going through family trees, census reports, and the deed for his house, tracing the names backward on the mystery postcard. Mrs. Gorkoski, or Sophia, was the wife of Thomas Gorkoski, who bought the house in 1915.

"So I ended up coming up to here [on the deed and found] Thomas Gorkoski and Sophia, his wife, and I'm like 'that's it! I found it,'" exclaimed Scouton as he looked at the deed.

The writer: Leonard Alexander Nesgoda, Sergeant 1st Class for the U.S. Navy, trainee on the U.S.S. Cuttlefish at the Naval Station in Great Lakes, Illinois, and neighbor of the Gorkoskis.

As farfetched as this story sounds, Mullan says her friend had a similar experience with a years–old package that had apparently been stuck behind a machine at the post office, "and when it was removed, they put a stamp on it and mailed it."

Now Scouton and Mullan are searching for the postcard's rightful owners, or at least descendants, since Nesgoda and the Gorkoskis have died, according to their research.

Scouton has since set up a website for the postcard, pictures included, along with all the latest information they've uncovered in their journey to unlock the secrets of this postcard from the past.

If anyone would like to get in on solving this mystery, they can check out:

Postcard from Yesterday

-Posted to the web by Billy Wagness