This story originally appeared at Inspire More by Anastasia Nuanes.
Imagine being gifted a very, very old and mysterious family safe — the contents unknown… but it comes with a catch: You need to find a way to get the 1,000-pound object out from the basement of a house that is scheduled for demolition very soon.
That was the situation Jacob found himself in when he took to Imgur to share his conundrum. Focusing on the huge job of moving the safe out of the house, Jacob all but forgot about what he might find inside. However, once the safe finally was opened, the contents gave him quite the shock.
The safe lived in the basement of his great-uncle’s home, but since the house had been in the family for generations, no one knew who exactly it belonged to. Knowing that he only had a limited amount of time to rescue it, he got to work:
“My friend and I had a furniture dolly and thought we could get it just the two of us. We got it on the dolly with relative ease but once we tried to get it up the first step we quickly realized we had been beaten by an inanimate object…for now.”
“A few weeks later my dad and I came back with the big guns to get this thing out. We made this ramp out of 1×12’s that were screwed together with 1×1’s on the back to catch the treads and prevent slipping.”
“We knew man power wasn’t going to be enough to pull this thing up the stairs and we weren’t messing around so we attached a tow strap to a chain in order to pull it up the stairs and around the corner with our skid loader.”
After trying a few different variations, “This was finally the rig that worked!”
Her first glimpse of daylight in who knows how long.
“We got it in place in my garage without too much more effort. I cleaned it off a bit and here she sets. After speaking with my grandpa about the safe, I learned quite a bit which I’ll explain later, but he came out to the house and handed me a piece of paper. It was a copy of the original manufacturer’s sheet with the combination on it! Time to crack this bad boy open.”
“The lock design was unlike any I had seen before in that it had 4 entries. You had to spin to the first number clockwise, then had to rotate the dial 3 times counterclockwise to the second number, then 2 times clockwise again to the 3rd number, and finally 1 time counterclockwise to the final number as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Thank goodness my grandpa had that sheet because I never would have figured that out if he’s just had the combination numbers written down.”
“I was really glad to see that the key was already inside the safe. When I first opened it and saw another door I was afraid that was the end of the road.”
“Ray was notorious for being a hoarder when it came to anything related to his money and was the family scrooge, so I had no clue what to expect when I turned this key. He loved Gold, land, and the classic greenbacks, but he made his money in the stock market mostly. Being a farmer in the middle of nowhere Illinois sure wasn’t earning him many dividends and he knew that.”
“Documents on documents on documents!”
Another keyed compartment turned up nothing, so Jacob went back to sorting through the papers…
“We found two different Disney Co. Stock Certificates amounting to 30 shares. It was our understanding that my great uncle’s trust (whose name the certificates are in) had been closed out and liquidated upon his passing.”
But after some urging from fellow Imgur users, Jacob did some digging into the topic:
“After getting in touch with [a financial advisor] and doing some paperwork and research it turns out these certificates ARE still outstanding!!! … My grandpa and I are going through the process of changing the names on the certificates out of my great uncle’s trust so that they will be valid again.”
Bottom line, these shares could be worth over $50,000!
What a crazy story. You never know what hidden treasures you’ll dig up, or pull out, of an ancestral home. Have you ever found something cool in a passed relative’s belongings?