Adam is frozen in his tracks. He tries to speak but he can’t. He’s too focused on what he just found in his parent’s farmhouse. He feels sick; he wants to forget about it and carry on with his day but he can’t. Something was telling him to take a closer look.
But secrets are supposed to stay buried, right? It was obvious his parents didn’t want anybody to find it. That’s why they hidden it. But his parents were not here anymore. And so, Adam reaches for the handle, and a terrible feeling hits the pit of his stomach.
Adam Anderson may have been 48 years old, but that didn’t stop him from still appreciating and loving his parents. After all, they raised and supported him; they did whatever they could to ensure he was happy.
They were there for Adam through heartbreak, divorce, loss and so much more. But unfortunately for Adam, his entire world was about to get turned upside down.
A few years ago Adam’s parents had to move out of their beloved farm due to their degrading health. They moved to a place closer to health workers who could support them.
Their farm was in Tenessee, around a remote region where there was nothing around. Soon after moving out, unfortunately, both of Adam’s parents passed away. Adam was distraught. He couldn’t sleep and he couldn’t eat. He thought things couldn’t get any worse, but he was so wrong.
After his parents passed away, this meant that the only link to the farmhouse was Adam. He was shocked that his inheritance included the old farmhouse. He left it for a long time, not really wanting to go back. But eventually, he decided to go and pack up their things.
As he left his home to drive to his parents’ farm, he hummed along to their favorite song on the radio, while a tear trickled down his cheek. Adam had no idea what he was about to uncover.
He drove all the way out to the old farmhouse and decided that he would declutter it and restore it to its original glory. Afterward, he would put it up for sale.
This was an ambitious undertaking, it would take a lot of time but he had to do it, but he couldn’t afford the old house. He felt mixed emotions wash over him as he got out of his car and looked at the old farmhouse.
As soon as he arrived at their home, memories came flooding back to him. He could remember when his father taught him to ride a bike and when he helped his mother make her “world-famous” chocolate chip cookies.
Immersed in nostalgia, Adam lets out a sigh. But then suddenly he remembered something else. Another memory that still haunted him to this today.
Around five years ago Adam walked in on his mother and father who was in the middle of an argument. Adam didn’t know what they were arguing about it but he distinctly remembered his father saying, “no one can ever find this out.”
Those words haunted Adam still to his day. What were his parents hiding? He shrugged it off and went to start the cleanup, but then he realized what kind of state the house was actually in.
The wood of the house was starting to rot and there were webs everywhere. The house didn’t even look structurally sound.
Adam started to work on the house. After a few days worth of work, he had done a lot, but there was still much to do, and still so much to be uncovered.
One day, while working on the house, he remembered something about his parents that put the house in a new light. As he looked at the peeling wallpaper and rotting ceiling beams he felt a strange emotion.
He looked through his parents’ possessions and started to remember fond moments from his childhood. With each item he sorted, he remembered more. There were many memories in this house – his parents loved to collect things.
Staring at the closet at the bottom of the stairwell, he felt like there was something in there that was important. As he slowly moved items out of the way inside the closet, there was an old carpet there.
The carpet itself was in a bad state, once he took it out he noticed something in its place – a circular notch on the floor.
Under the rug was a round piece of metal on a concrete slab. He became very curious about what lay under the carpet. There was a handle on the item on the floor.
It seemed like a giant plug for the floor, but why? He could no longer wait and pulled hard on the plug to reveal something that was hidden for a long time.
It was at that moment then, that Adam realized it was in fact a safe, locked, and hidden beneath the dirty old rug. Unfortunately, the safe was sealed shut.
As he kept trying to get it open for days on end, he finally conceded and asked for help from Tim, the locksmith. But Adam immediately had questions linger in his mind. What was in this safe that it had to be kept a secret?
As Adam sat waiting for the locksmith to arrive, he wondered what exactly he would find inside. Would it be something bad? Or something good?
Adam was stumped. He took another look at the safe and a terrible feeling hit the pit of his stomach.
Tim the locksmith worked for hours until he finally got the lock off. At last, it was time to see what lay in the safe. What could be so important that it needed to be protected and hidden from everyone?
Adam’s hands trembled as he lifted the safe open and what he saw left him lost for words. He never could have expected this.
He pulled open the safe to reveal a pile of bricks all surrounded by water. Was this it? Adam suddenly remembered a pipe had burst in the house many years before and flooded a lot of the ground floor.
It must have leaked into the ground floor. But more was to be discovered.
This couldn’t be all that lay in the safe, right? Adam began to pull out the bricks to reveal an entire time capsule. It looked as though it was something straight out of the 1930s as one of the first things Adam found was a coin book from 1937.
Sadly, the outside was incredibly damaged, but thankfully the layers had protected the coins inside from the water. In fact, they were almost in pristine condition. It was as if they had just been placed in there.
Adam continued to dig deeper and deeper, and he found a collection of coin books. It seemed his mother had done a lot of coin collecting.
The books weren’t all that was in the safe. No, Adam soon discovered a variety of coins that had been dumped into the safe along with a collection of water-damaged dollar bills. It kept getting stranger.
Although many of the coins were standard issue versions, many pieces in the collection were rare coins. It turned out that even the standard finds could still have a high collector’s value if Adam decided to sell them.
In fact, they were now worth much more than just their face value even after being submerged in the water for so many years. It looked as though Adam had stumbled upon a gold mine, but Adam soon discovered there were more than just silver coins in the safe.
It turned out his father had also done some collecting of his own – there were a number of pure silver bars.
To top it off, the silver looked pristine. Adam knew they could be worth a small fortune, especially as they had been protected in their boxes. Many of the bars had even been engraved with markings that showcased their true history. Adam was holding onto a piece of the past. But what he found next left a shiver up his spine.
As Adam continued to enjoy all the finds in the safe, he suddenly found something pretty confusing. There was an old box, but it has completely rusted over.
As soon as he laid eyes on the toolbox Adam felt butterflies in his stomach and his throat went dry. He tried to swallow but he couldn’t. He had to see what was inside the toolbox. He had to look now.
Adam soon managed to pry open the box and find the answers to his questions. It wasn’t filled with tools at all, but instead held a ton of jewelry and pocket watches. Although some of the contents had been affected by the water, most of the pieces were still in good working order.
Adam knew his grandparents must have spent many years collecting everything to fill their secret safe. He just wondered why they had never spoken of their hidden treasures.
The family soon all joined in to haul out piece after piece. Adam was amazed by the finds but had no idea where to start. It was time to turn to social media. It was time to ask for their help.
Adam uploaded his finds and asked if the people of the internet would be able to help in any way. Many other users offered up ways Adam might be able to save many of the pieces and restore them to their former glory. Others had bad news. Some users admitted that some of the items might be so severely damaged they would no longer be worth anything to anyone.
Adam knew that he wanted to keep some of the coins. They were the perfect way to remember his late mother.
However, Adam needed a way to preserve the coins and get them back to their former glory. It was the least Adam could do for his mother. But Adam had no idea what else his mother had hidden.
Many people were quick to offer help and advice to Adam on how to get the coins back to looking their best. All he needed to do was clean them off, and they would soon be back up to their top value once more.
Little did any of the family know they had been standing over such an extensive collection hidden underneath this house the entire time.
Adam continued to clear through the rest of the house. After all, the family still needed to get it ready for the real estate agent. He was soon joined by his brother when the pair made another discovery.
Adam had believed the secret safe was the only mystery they would find in the home. Little did they know there was another safe hiding in plain sight. It turned out their father had a safe installed in the coffee table. It was time to break it open.
The safe was filled with their father’s pistol collection and even more money. Only this time they weren’t just any dollar bills, but were, in fact, Barr notes. These special notes were extremely rare as Joseph W. Barr was once the Secretary of State.
However, he was only in the position for 29 days. It turned out Adam’s father had been able to get hold of the notes and keep them safe. Now, they were holding some of the rarest currency in the nation.
People all over social media continued to comment on Adam’s photos as they gave their opinion on the items’ worth. It turned out that some of them were worth thousands of dollars while others only had a sentimental value that meant nothing to anyone outside of the family.
Now, Adam just needed to decide if he wanted to sell the finds or keep hold of it all. He had plenty of offers and knew it would be easy to find new owners for many of the pieces.
Adam never knew how clearing out his grandparents’ house could soon turn into one of the biggest adventures of his life.
It was almost too good to be true. Now, the family could enjoy looking back at the entire collections that had made their late family memories so happy for so many years.
It’s hard to imagine how Adam, and then later his brother, must have felt when they found their mother’s collection, and then their father’s collection on top of that. When we lose people who were close to us, physical objects are some of the things that help us remember them in that initial period when the grief is still being processed.
Holding on to something tangible, then, is a way of feeling close to that person. In that sense, the two safes really were treasures – but not in the financial sense.
Sentimental value aside, it was clear Adam had items with the serious worth on his hands. Collectors go wild in bidding for a piece they simply have to have, and a big windfall might be in the family’s future – if they decided to sell.
This was a serious dilemma. On the one hand, there was big money to be made. On the other, these heirlooms belonged to his beloved grandparents and were collections they’d dedicated time and passion to. Would they have liked for them to be sold off like that?
While we certainly have never met Adam’s parents, we might be able to suss out what they’d be thinking in such a situation. Parents want nothing more than for their family to be happy and secure, both financially and otherwise, and often do everything they can to make sure that happens while they’re still alive.
When they pass, it’s unlikely for these sentiments to change. If they could know Adam or a member of his family could somehow improve their lives, they would probably condone selling off their prized collections.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.