Monday, March 30, 2009

Found Money

I heard from an elderly friend this weekend regarding the sale of her foreclosed home. She and her late husband had lived in it for at least 45 years that I know of. They always struggled financially and I recall them refinancing their home every few years.

Anyway, a man bought her 2 acre place for $11,000 and promptly went about "updating" it. He began in the basement where part of the home appeared to be supported by a wooden keg. On top of the keg was a 12x12 inch wood post with a notch in the top that tucked around a beam overhead. A couple other wooden kegs had been in the house when my friend and her husband bought the place and they cut them in half to use as flower boxes. The story was that the original owner had been a moonshiner.

So, my friend says, "You know all those years we struggled and I always said I wished I had a wishing well full of coins on my property?" she said. "Well, I did."

The new owner took a sledge hammer to the keg and post after placing a metal support post nearby and out spilled thousands of coins.

He bought the place in August 2008 and it took him until November 2008 to count and "appraise" his find. Wisely, he told no one about this until he had all the money stashed in a secure location off the premises.

Coincidentally, my Dad called with a similar story. He's rented a tiny house for years and the landlord had always told him that as long as he lived in it he could do as he please and the landlord would never raise the rent. So my Dad still pays $180 a month plus utilities.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Over the years my Dad had build cabinets, replaced a couple windows, repainted and basically been snug as a bug in his 16x42 foot home with a full basement and attached garage.

My father's cat has run of the house, including the basement and last night it jumped on Dad's lap with a $5.00 bill in its mouth. Of course, Dad thought he'd dropped the money so he placed it in his wallet and congratulated his cat. This morning he entered his shed to let the cat out and found another $5.00 laying next to the basement entry. THAT door is always open a few inches to give the cat access. So Dad lets the cat out and opens the basement door to find money strewed all down the steps. He discovered that the cat had been up in the sill and pulled out an old canvas bag that was tucked inside a wooden box. The mice had chewed at the box and part of the bag and Dad's cat did the rest of the work. Total haul about $580.00.

So of course these stories got me to thinking...wonder if there's any money hidden around here - that we don't know about. Probably wishful thinking but one never knows.

When we were teenagers my brother offered to tear the old upholstery off an antique sofa because my mother wanted to use some of it for a bench before the sofa was brought to her uncle's upholstery shop. Brother found $200.00 stuffed in the sofa.

Years ago while remodeling a house, I found jars of pennies enclosed in a shed wall. Wish they had been quarters.

Another couple I knew bought an old farm and were about to fill in an old caved in root cellar. The wife jumped into it at the last minute because she spied a board she could use to build a picture frame. As she pulled on the board the boards on either side of it came loose - and revealed quart mason jars full of money. So they dug OUT the cellar instead of filling it in. Total find was about $2,000.

And I'm thinking that with the economy souring and people losing their trust in the banks, etc. hiding money in plain sight will become more common. And two generations from now maybe people will discover the "legal tender" we used to use.


Bustednuckles said...

My Aunt and Uncle bought five acres that used to be uased for horse raising, their daughters had a couple of the hayburners.
One day I was out farting around in the tack room and for some reason looked up at the flourescent light hanging over my head. I caught what looked like the edge of an envelope and being six foot gtall, I just reached up and grabbed it. I found ten one hundred dollar bills in it and gave it to my Aunt. Later, I was putting bales of hay away in the loft and found a whole case of gallon jugs of whiskey, with no tax stamps on them. They must have been thirty years old.
Unfortunately for me, I had quit drinking for about a year at the time so I gave those to my Uncle.
I should have rethought that move.

treesong said...

Busted, Bet that whiskey would have had quite the kick! Thanks for your comment. Treesong

HermitJim said...

Found money is always good...I think! Never found more than just a few small bits of change!

However, free money is free money!

PreparingMama said...

What neat stories! As a child I dreamed of finding 'hidden treasure'. One of my favorite things to do is going through old junkstores, etc. I wonder how to get a job cleaning out old attics?