ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A hidden treasure, buried in an attic on Long Island, was recently discovered by accident.

Now, one woman is searching far and wide for its owners.

Sharon Stack says the photos are priceless, but the family heirlooms don’t belong to her.

“I pulled them out and I was like, this has nothing to do with our family because we have known quite a bit about our family,” Stack told CBS2.

Her mother recently died, and Stack says she’s in the process of selling her Rockville Centre home. While moving things out of the attic, she says she stumbled upon some dusty yet perfectly preserved photos under the floorboard — 16 in total.

Stack thinks they date back to the 1800s.

The home itself was built in 1923. The original owners were Andrew Robert Fritz and his wife, Elsa. They were the only ones who lived in it before her family, so Stack believes the photos are of the Fritz’s ancestors.

She’s since made it her mission to get the photos back to relatives of the Fritzes.

“They had one daughter, Elsa Caroline, and she was married twice,” Stack said. “The first last name was Holt, and the second one was Hoffman. She passed in 1989.”

Some of the pictures are in tintypes — a photograph actually printed on tin. An antique dealer, Stack knows they’re worth money, but you can’t put a price on returning family treasures.

“If someone found photos of my ancestors, I would want to know about it,” she said.

Stack hasn’t had any luck yet contacting family members. If you have information about the Fritz family, she asks that you send an email to

Comments (2)
  1. Ed Fisher says:

    Kudos to Sharon Stack for the caring and responsible way she handled the discovery of the Fritz heirlooms. Think it’s all too common for folks to act carelessly or downright opportunistically in similar situations. Hope some Fitz progeny hears about the story to keep their family portraits.

  2. louis11725 says:

    nice story thanks for sharing it

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