The farmhouse was old and dusty and cleaning it was a long, drawn-out process. Among its dirty places was a dark closet crudely lined with a filthy piece of carpet. Underneath this makeshift rug, however, was something incredible waiting to be discovered.
As the man pulled back the carpet he noticed an incongruous concrete block underneath. He lifted up a metal cap and discovered a mysterious safe buried in the closet floor. What amazing treasure did it hide within?
The discovery by Reddit user Evilenglish was made in April 2013. The run-down farmhouse in question, which once belonged to his grandparents, was located in deepest, darkest Tennessee.
His grandparents acquired the property back in the late ’70s or early ’80s as a means to get away from the South’s summer heat. They enjoyed its peace and quiet for around two decades.
Evilenglish recalled many pleasant vacations spent at the farmhouse, where his elders would regularly recall the tales in Treasure Island. Little did he know, however, that the property contained treasures of its own.
He remembered his grandfather as a keen athlete arms enthusiast. His grandmother was more content collecting artifacts – everything from antiques to old coins.
Sometime in 1997 the old couple left the rural house, never to return. When Evilenglish’s grandfather died shortly afterwards no one in his family decided to go back.
When the Reddit user’s own father died around a decade later Evilenglish inherited the property. He decided to pay it a long-overdue visit ahead of putting it on the market.
While cleaning a cupboard under the stairs Evilenglish made the important discovery. Hidden under a scruffy section of carpet was the mysterious safe – but what could be inside it?
Because it was sealed shut he tried some local locksmiths that, because it was a Sunday, were unfortunately closed. While Evilenglish decided to head home empty handed, he vowed to return as soon as possible.
The following Tuesday he headed back, this time armed with some safe combinations his mom had suggested. When nothing worked, however, he called out one of the locksmiths.
The process was a lengthy one. Working with fiddly tools in cramped conditions, the locksmith began to regret taking the job – but finally he got in. The lid creaked open and the contents of the safe were revealed.
Evilenglish’s first reaction was one of dismay – the safe had a fair amount of water inside. He remembered there had been a leak in the house a few years previously and suspected that some of the moisture had seeped into the safe.
Sure enough the first item he uncovered – a book of coins from 1987 marked with a U.S. seal – was pretty much sodden through. But inside its crumbling cover the coins were in good condition.
After that he pulled box after box from the safe, each of which contained loads of coins. While the boxes themselves were worse for wear, the currency they contained was perfectly preserved.
There was also a large collection of loose coins. Originally contained within paper tubes, these had long since rotted away to leave a chaotic collection of currency spread throughout the safe.
There was also a stack of paper money that, sadly, was saturated. Helpful Reddit commenters, however, explained that the Bureau of Engraving and Printing replaces mutilated currency in certain circumstances.
Underneath the bills Evilenglish found more collector’s coins and, amazingly, a stash of silver bars. Each was engraved with the names and founding dates of Delaware, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Then, at the very bottom of the safe, the grandson found an old tool box encrusted with rust. He prized open the lid and found it stuffed with jewelry including a brooch and a valuable-looking watch.
By the time it was emptied the safe had yielded a huge pile of treasure. And a valuable one at that – an excited Reddit user noted that the coins could be worth up to 20 times their face value, while those silver bars could fetch almost $800 each. For Evilenglish, then, this was a truly life-changing discovery.