By Anne-Marie Green
ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ (CBS) — It was the day after Hurricane Sandy hit, and like many, Kathleen Mullen of Atlantic Highlands was without power. With little to do to pass the time and a restless 14-year-old son at home, she decided to go for a walk with her family. What she stumbled upon on the Henry Hudson Trail has kept her busy for well over a week: 70-year-old love letters washed up on the beach.
Her son Patrick was the first to spot the stack of 50 letters tied with a ribbon, but Kathleen had a gut feeling about them.
“They were tied with a pink ribbon, and I knew they were love letters,” she says.
The letters were written between 1942 and 1947 by Dorothy Fallon of Rumson, New Jersey to her betrothed, Lynn Farnham, of Vermont.
Determined to return the letters to the couple, Kathleen searched the internet for information about them. She even traveled to their last known address, only to learn the house had been torn down. She put a posting on find-a-grave.com, a website for people looking for the graves of loves ones, and the couple’s niece in Virginia spotted it.
“It’s magical. This can’t be real. It’s like a genealogical gold mine,” niece Shelley Farnham-Hilber says about the letters.
Shelley is the family historian and has been collecting genealogical information about the Farnhams for years. Lynn passed away a few years ago, and his wife is now in a nursing home. The couple had two children, but their son is also deceased, and the family lost touch with their daughter.
Kathleen plans to mail the letters to Shelley. Shelley says she’ll photocopy them, share them with the family and put them away for safe keeping.
The location of the letters before the storm is unknown.