The Russians Are Coming

05In last week’s Jimplecute, Bob Palmer reported the discovery of several Soviet-era Russian publications found in Urquhart House and asked for help to discover their origin.

Amanda Allen said she found the papers in a box in the back of a closet.

A co-worker had originally found them rolled up in the back of a piece of furniture.Several folks stepped forward with various possible explanations. Marcia Thomas detailed the owners of Urquhart House from Wayman Moore forward.

Jodi Breckenridge speculated Russian soldiers could have left the publications – some were in Russian and some in English. From Sept. 9, 1988 through most of 1989, Russian troops were on hand to witness destruction of U.S. Pershing missiles at Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant near Karnak as part of a reduction in nuclear weapons agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union.

At times, some of the Russians stayed in Jefferson. Thomas remembered Russians attending one of her theater productions at the time.But that was 1989. Why would they have left magazines from 1971? Teressa Ponder added to the mystery.

Ponder and her husband at that time, Roy Koopman, purchased Urquhart House in 2003. “There wasn’t a stick of furniture in the whole house,” Ponder said. Ponder furnished the historic home with furniture from her antique store and with pieces she bought around the area, primarily at Wesley Baird’s auction house in Jacksonville.

The current owner, Jeff Flack, has also added pieces. Anything left by Russian soldiers in 1989 was long gone.So, the mystery of the Russian documents appears fated to remain a mystery. Were they left by Russian soldiers at a Jefferson B&B and that bureau managed to make its way to Urquhart House? Were they in a piece Ponder bought in Jacksonville? It’s your guess.

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