When Ana Torres purchased a chest from a Seekonk thrift store, she discovered something special in the drawers.

She found the diaries of a young girl from Taunton inside, dating back to 1935, and decided to track down the rightful owners.

What came next was a heartwarming reunion.

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Precious Diaries Found in Seekonk

Ana Torres is a Warwick-based photographer. She recently popped into a thrift store in Seekonk to find a prop for her photography sessions.

She purchased a small metal chest, and when she got it home, she discovered two diaries inside, one from 1935 and another from 1945.

Ana Torres
Ana Torres

“They belong to a young girl by the name of Virginia Chaves who lived at 86 Oak Street (in) Taunton," Torres said. “Her diaries are filled with a young girl’s hopes and dreams and everyday life during the Great Depression.”

Torres held on to the diaries for a bit, unsure of what to do with them, but ultimately decided that tracking down the family was the only option.

“I decided to join a Taunton Facebook page (to) see if anyone would recognize them,” she said.

Most of the leads brought her to several obituaries of different Virginia Chaveses, but then, a woman reached out claiming to be Virginia’s niece.

Torres Finds the Rightful Owners

She did it. Torres found the correct family, and after speaking with Torres, the woman who reached out decided to reach out to Virginia’s son who now lives in Florida.

“We chatted for a while and he expressed how excited he was that the diaries were found after so many years,” Torres said. It turns out that Virginia thought she had lost them in New York while visiting her brother many years ago.

Torres also spoke with Virginia’s son, Steve, who shared some incredible facts about his late mother.

According to her son, Virginia was one of the first 100 women who had joined the Navy and she was also a member of the Coast Guard.

Ana Torres
Ana Torres

“She was a pioneer of her time,” Torres said. “Her diaries were filled with her hopes and her dreams. ... Definitely a remarkable woman.”

Virginia passed away 12 years ago, but as the diaries make their way home to Florida, it’s like a little piece of Virginia lives on.

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