Workers ripped the siding from a circa 1880 house in Mankato and Old West history burst forth.
Tattered from more than a century's worth of wear, the large billboard montage once touted the Mankato appearance of a world-famous entertainment extravaganza - Buffalo Bill's Wild West show.
And homeowner Joanne Dalton is glad that the re-siding project she started last week gave her more than she bargained for.
"I've always been a fan of the wild West," said Dalton, who will enjoy the colorful tableau until it's covered up once again for the ages - or thereabouts.
"Maybe someone 100 years from now will open it up and see it," she said.
The paper billboard on the house near Sibley Park trumpets "Buffalo Bill's Wild West" in large red letters and features images of war-party Indians, cowboys and Spanish-American War references.
On the basis of the billboard's references, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wy., determined the show's Mankato appearance date was Sept. 2, 1899.
A headline in the Mankato Daily Free Press a few days later alluded to the performance, describing it as "Mankato Invaded by Indians, Filipinos, Mexicans and Other Picturesque People."
The newspaper said thousands witnessed two performances in the downtown area, and that Buffalo Bill Cody, though still true of aim and erect of posture, "is showing signs of age. His long hair that was formerly raven black now being almost gray."
As for the billboard on Dalton's house, Blue Earth County Historical Society Director Jessica Potter surmises it was put there not to tout the show but to serve as windbreak insulation sometime afterward.
"In my mind, they just took the pieces of it and randomly smacked them on the side of the house," she said.
The Buffalo Bill Wild West show ran from 1883 until it went bankrupt in 1913. The show typically ended with a melodramatic re-enactment of Custer's Last Stand, in which Cody portrayed General Custer.
Cody, deemed by some historians as the world's most recognizable celebrity at the turn of the 20th century, died in 1917.
Information from: The Free Press