Hi Bob, I am in a 1907 model home! After ripping up many layers of linoleum, we found hardwood floors but also a layer of brown paper type stuff on top! Don't know if this is the same as you, but what I discovered to remove this stuff is as simple as putting water (lots of it) on the paper. After sitting for about 10 or 15 minutes, I could scrape up with a putty knife. If you test a small area and the water seems to soak into the paper, this should work for you too. We had previously tried sanding (clogged the sandpaper quickly), tried scraping (back breaking) and then my 2-year old spilled something (Oh my, it was peanut butter) I couldn't get to the spill right away and when I came back to it the paper (or whatever) came right up with a paper towel. I hoped it was not Peanut butter that had to be used and so tried a small area with water. It worked miraculously!