Contents of Mystery Safe Revealed 

A mystery safe unearthed in Shockoe Slip has been opened.

Construction workers building two Marriott hotels at 14th and Cary streets dug up the safe earlier this month, as Style Weekly first reported Sept. 10. It dated back to a Baltimore manufacturer of safes in the 1800s.

Richmond-based manufacturing firm Tektonics Design Group “carefully opened” the safe, says Kelly Clarke, director of investor services for the site’s owner, Apple REIT.

Michael Smith, a project manager at Tektonics, cut into the bottom using "a grinder and a cut-off wheel."

Clarke reveals the safe’s contents as:

- A newspaper from 1963,

- Various documents that appear to be from a business that operated on the site,

- A metal box,

- A wooden drawer and

- Several keys.

Clarke also sent along these photos:

click to enlarge KELLY CLARKE, APPLE REIT
  • Kelly Clarke, Apple REIT
click to enlarge KELLY CLARKE, APPLE REIT
  • Kelly Clarke, Apple REIT

Smith says he isn’t disappointed by the safe’s lackluster contents: “I didn’t expect to find a pot of gold or anything crazy.”

Clarke says a representative for the Virginia Department of Historical Resources was on site while the safe was opened and deemed the contents “not historically significant.”


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