A demolition project on Walnut Street has unexpectedly turned up documents from Chattanooga's earliest days.
Rob Bentley, a young man who has developed a love for Chattanooga's history, said he got a call from his friend Robert Parks about the discovery.
His company, T. U. Parks, is doing the demolition and build-out of the former Elks Building at Walnut and Seventh and the small adjacent former Title Guaranty and Trust building.
Mr. Bentley, who works at the venerable Chattanooga firm of T.T. Wilson and Company, said, "When they were demoing the old vault the workers found the old documents. Robert went to look at them and a check made out to T.T. Wilson was on top of the pile so he called me to let me know what he had found.
"I asked him if they would stop the demo of the vaults so i could come take a look at the papers. By the time I got to the job site some of the documents had already been thrown into the dumpster and destroyed.
"I loaded up all the documents I could save out of the dumpster and the ones not yet thrown away into my truck. I went home and ...