The front is black with writing. It was a Bachmann & Co. sold by general agent H. H. Warner. The company was based in CIN’TI. O. (Cincinnati, Ohio). This specific safe was sold out of Rochester, N.Y.
I wiped off the top, right corner to find a combination scratched into a painting of a river and its bank. On the metal it said, “4R 92, 3R 31, 2L 64.” The lock caught after a few tries and I was able to pry the heavy and extremely thick door open. It revealed another, smaller door. This handle turned without a combination, although it had a key hole so it once had the potential to lock.
A large fortune would have been ideal but I would have been happy with a big, red X to mark the spot.
I did some research with the information on the door and found that Warner only sold safes for Bachmann for a nine-year window from 1870 to 1879. This meant that A. lived here when the safe was delivered through a long-gone bulkhead. Why did Martin Newman need such an impressive safe? I still can’t answer that, but it’s something to think about at night before I fall asleep.
I realized when I was little that the ceiling in my closet is just a row of boards that fit snugly together. The boards can be shifted, however, to reveal a perfect, big hiding spot. I’ve hidden things there myself but I’ve never looked way into the dark corners.
With a helpful flashlight I recently checked again. Laying flat in the corner was something. I pulled it out to find it was the front of a box of cereal. Price Chopper brand rice squares. No name again and nothing to tell us the date but we think it is from the 1980s. A word of advice, if you plan on leaving a memento hidden for a future person, name it, date it, and maybe even write a note.