The old wooden sign caught Charles Nelson's eye at an antique show in Nashville.
The green and white sign was wood, two-sided, weathered and beaten from exposure to the elements. The man who sold it to him said he found it in upper Michigan.
But the sign references the Pepperell Free Press and Townsend Times -- precursors to the Nashoba Valley Voice -- as well as "C.W. Goodwin and W.H. Hastings, Prop., Printers."
He emailed the Nashoba Valley Voice last week asking for help in finding the original location of the sign and track just how his Massachusetts sign ended up traveling to Michigan and Tennessee.
We posted a photo of the sign online and readers came to a consensus: the sign hung for years in Townsend off of the old Winchester Inn on Elm Street. The building was demolished in 1972 and the sign passed into the hands of a local collector, who contacted the Voice to say it was sold to a local dealer about seven years ago.
Nelson was delighted to have his mystery solved so quickly.
"We love old advertising (signs, displays, counters, etc.) of all different kinds and want to make an authentic country store in a big bonus room in our new house that we just got, sort of a man cave, I guess," he wrote in an email. "Old country stores are a time in our history that's slowly disappearing and I just want to keep my little slice of it."
Nelson plans to attach a note to his sign so people after him will know its history.
"It's amazing how a sign in Massachusetts ends up down here in Tennessee by way of Michigan," he wrote.