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  • Writer's pictureWendell Maxey

Staten Island House Renovation Reveals World War II Love Letters


Unearthing lost parts of local history never gets old. That's certainly been the case with one story that made its way to the New York Post with Staten Island ties.


The article details how after 80 years, a stack of World War II love letters were pulled out of the walls during a Staten Island house renovation and were returned to the descendants of a prolific Navy man who wrote warmly — and frequently — to his wife.


Dottie Kearney, 51, uncovered the sheaf of correspondence between Brooklyn-born boatswain’s mate Claude Marsten Smythe and Wisconsin native Marie Borgal Smythe back in the mid-1990s, when Kearney and her husband bought the Eltingville fixer-upper — once home to the Smythes — and started tearing out the old walls.


This local history and local news from Staten Island also made national and international headlines, with the Daily Telegraph in Sydney even reporting on the World War II love letters found in Staten Island.


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