Brad and his family had no idea that they would make such a shocking discovery shortly after moving into their new home. The house seemed perfect and the neighborhood was idyllic, but after Brad saw his new dog Gus barking and scratching the floor in the basement, he decided to check it out for himself. The strange smell that was emanating from the lowest floor of the house couldn't be ignored, so Brad had to check it out for himself...
Brad’s Home Didn’t Seem Unique At First
Brad lived with his wife and kids in a three-bedroom house in the town of Stillwater, New York. The town was known as the site of an important battle in the Revolutionary War. But other than that, it was mostly just another small town filled with families and young professionals.
Brad’s Family Adopted a Dog
Now that they were out of a city apartment and in a house with a yard, Brad and his family decided it was the perfect time to get a dog. They adopted a bloodhound and named him Gus. Brad’s father and grandfather had owned bloodhounds as well so he loved carrying on the family tradition.
A Dog With Special Skills
Gus, being a bloodhound, had an acute sense of smell. He was content to spend most of his time running around the yard smelling everything in sight. It seemed like Gus could smell things from across the house. If chicken was taken out of the fridge, it was only a matter of minutes before Gus was in the kitchen.
Gus Is Obsessed with the Basement
Of all his favorite activities, Gus seemed to especially enjoy being in the basement. He seemed to be obsessed with sniffing around down there. Neither Brad nor his family thought much about Gus’ interest in the basement until one day everything changed. What happened next would unlock an extraordinary mystery that no one would believe.
A Secret Room
There was one room in the basement that was usually closed. It was just a small, closet-sized space that previous owners of the home had used to store firewood. Since the house now had a gas fireplace, there wasn’t much use for this small room other than occasional storage of outdoor items.
Gus Finds the Secret Room
Brad and his family didn’t really think much about this firewood room until one day while cleaning, Brad opened the door and Gus ran inside. Gus went nuts sniffing all over the place. Soon he began to dig at the dirt and rocks inside the room. Brad thought this was highly unusual.
Why Was Gus Going Crazy?
Brad had never seen Gus this interested in one particular spot. With Gus’ excellent sense of smell, it’s possible he detected an animal or something underneath the house. Brad tried to get Gus away from the room but Gus wouldn’t budge. There was something about that room that made Gus crazy.
A Strange Smell
As Brad inspected the corner of the room that Gus was furiously digging at, he detected a strange odor. He was no expert in strange smells. Having spent most of his adult life in an apartment in the city, he really had no idea what it could be.
Brad Calls Pest Control
Brad decided the most likely explanation was that an animal had died underneath the house. So he called a local pest control company to come inspect the problem. Gus’ sense of smell was good enough that there must be something underneath the floor of that room.
Pest Control Arrives
Before long, a pest control technician arrived. He checked all over the house but found no evidence of any bug or rodent infestation. He checked as best he could underneath the house but couldn’t see or smell anything unusual. Nonetheless, he too smelled something odd in the basement room.
The pest control technician told Brad that there was no sign of any pest problems in the house. Whatever the smell was, it probably wasn’t an animal. So now Brad had no idea what to do next. He couldn’t just call up an odor expert to come to the house. If not an animal, what could’ve made that smell?
Brad Decides to Dig
Not knowing what else to do, Brad decided to dig as deep he could underneath the basement room to see if there was anything buried there. The floor of the room was covered in rocks and beneath the rocks was dirt. For whatever reason, previous homeowners had not finished this small room.
Brad Starts Digging
So on one Saturday when he didn’t have much else to do, Brad started digging. Of course, Gus went nuts and wagged his tail furiously. Gus didn’t act like this normally so there must be something unique about this odor. Brad was able to clear away all the rocks and then dig into the dirt layer.
Brad Digs and Digs
To Brad’s surprise, he was able to dig pretty deep into the ground. He figured sooner or later he would hit a barrier of some kind. But he didn’t. It was just more and more dirt. There went plenty of rocks and worms but so far nothing out of the ordinary.
Then, Something Shocking Happens
Then, something surprising happened that would lead to a shocking revelation that Brad could’ve never predicted. As he kept digging, eventually he found to his surprise that his shovel just went down into an empty space. It was like the dirt just suddenly vanished.
Brad Grabs a Flashlight
Brad figured he must’ve dug into some kind of additional storage space. So he grabbed a flashlight and tried his best to see what was underneath the room. To his surprise, there was a large empty space underneath. He was surprised at how big and cavernous it was.
Brad theorized that he’d stumbled upon some extra storage space that previous owner of the home had covered up. But he noticed as he cleared away all the dirt and rocks that the strange odor was definitely coming from this empty space below the room. Brad called his family over to take a look.
Brad’s Family Investigates
Brad’s wife and kids all peered into the dark, empty space. They couldn’t see anything other than more rocks and dirt. They had to restrain Gus from jumping into the empty hole. While the odor was definitely more powerful than before, it didn’t smell to anyone in the family like a dead animal.
Brad Makes a Bold Decision
Brad then made a bold decision. He decided to buy some lights and gear so that he could crawl into the hole and see what was down there. His kids thought this idea was amazing, but his wife thought it was a bit nuts. She was creeped out by the whole thing and woul’ve rather just filled in the hole with dirt and call it a day.
Brad Buys Some Gear
Brad went to the local hardware store and bought all the gear he thought he would need, including a rope (just in case he fell in and couldn’t climb back out), several battery-operated lights, a helmet, and a pick axe. If he was being honest, Brad had no idea what he was doing but he’d become fascinated by the strange space underneath his basement.
Brad Gets Ready to Explore
The next day, Brad tied the rope around his waste, just in case he needed to pull himself back out. He grabbed the lights, shovel, and pick axe. Then he put on the helmet just in case anything fell onto his head. Brad found himself wondering if he was a little crazy but felt it was too late to back out now.
Brad Jumps In
Although he was feeling a little nervous about this whole idea, Brad’s curiosity was more powerful than his sense of unease. So he jumped down into the hole, quietly saying a little prayer just in case. To his surprise, he landed almost immediately. The hole was only about 8 feet deep.
Inside the Hole
Once down inside the hole, Brad could tell the floor beneath him was sturdy. He thought that maybe the hole went down much deeper. But what surprised him most, as he turned on the battery-operated lights, was how far back the hole went. This storage space, or whatever it was, was massive.
Brad Searches Around
Brad used his lights to get a sense of how big this space was. It seemed to span the entire width of the house. Brad was amazed. Maybe he’d found a huge storage space used many years ago. His house was one of the oldest in town so perhaps it was used for some antiquated purpose many years ago.
Brad Sees Something
As Brad slowly made his way all around the huge open space, he eventually saw something in the corner. He approached it carefully and was a little scared, to be honest. But he had to see what it was. To his amazement, as he approached, he saw it was a huge antique chest.
The chest looked almost like a pirate’s chest. It was obviously very old. It had a large lock and chain keeping it closed. Brad took some photos of the chest and tugged at it to see if he could open it. But the lock, as old as it was, wouldn’t budge.
Brad Contacts the Historical Society
Brad explored the rest of the space buy found nothing. All that was down there was this large old chest. He decided he would contact the local historical society and send them a photo of this chest. Maybe they know what this chest was or what it would’ve been used for. Most intriguingly, maybe they could open it and see what was inside.
A Local Historian Responds
An older gentleman named Frank, who had lived in the town of Stillwater his entire life, heard about Brad’s find and was fascinated by it. He had a secret theory as to what might be inside the chest but didn’t want to tell anyone unless his theory proved to be true.
Frank Goes to Brad’s House
Frank called Brad and said he’d be fascinated to inspect the chest and see perhaps if they could open it. Brad was thrilled. Frank grabbed some heavy duty bolt cutters and drove to Brad’s house. As soon as he saw Brad’s house, he realized this was no ordinary home.
Unbeknownst to either Brad or the realtor who had sold the house, this property dated back to the 1700s. The town of Stillwater was quite old, having been founded before the American Revolution. As Frank looked at Brad’s house, he realized that he might’ve found a long lost treasure that he’d been looking for his whole life.
Frank Gives Brad a History Lesson
When Frank arrived, he sat Brad down and asked him what he knew about his property. Brad said not much. Frank then explained that it was one of the oldest houses in town. In fact, Frank had always been interested in the home for historical reasons. But previous owners had never let him inside.
Frank believed that somewhere in the town of Stillwater, an American soldier who had fought in the legendary Revolutionary War battle that the town was known for, buried a chest containing the personal artifacts of a famous war general’s aide. That general’s aide, Frank believed, was none other than Alexander Hamilton.
Of course, Alexander Hamilton had a long history with the State of New York. He lived in New York City and had visited what was today known as the town of Schuylerville. It was here that he had met his future wife, Elizabeth. But before he did that, he was a duitiful aide to General George Washington.
The Buried Artifacts
The soldier who had stumbled upon Alexander Hamilton’s belongings mistakenly believed that Hamilton had died in battle. So he gave the chest to a local homeowner, asking him to keep it safe in case anyone came looking for it. The soldier thought that perhaps Hamilton’s belongings included sensitive information that should not fall into enemy hands.
Why the Artifacts Remained Hidden
Frank believed that as the years went by, the homeowner who had hidden the chest died and whoever took ownership of the home after him either didn’t know or didn’t care that the chest was buried there. As the years went by, nobody bothered to look at this secret chest.
The Home is Renovated
Over the years, so Frank believed, renovations to the home resulted in the underground storage area being concealed. Despite the home existing for all these years, nobody until Brad had ever thought to look below the small storage room. And if it wasn’t for Gus the bloodhound, the chest might’ve remained hidden forever.
Brad is Stunned
Brad couldn’t believe what Frank was telling him. If all this was true, Brad had stumbled across a treasure of immense historical value. But there was one vitally important thing left to do. Rather than sit around and tell stories and speculate, he and Frank had to open the chest and see for themselves what was inside.
Brad and Frank Gear Up
Brad and Frank geared up in preparation for their mission. Frank had brought with him extra lights and tools, in addition to the heavy duty bolt cutters. There was no way they weren’t coming back out of that storage space without uncovering the mysteries of the secret hidden chest.
They Go Underground
Without much delay and with tremendous excitement, Brad and Frank climbed down into the storage space. They proceeded carefully. After all, they didn’t know how stable the space was. Safety was a top priority. As they slowly approached the chest, both of them were practically shaking in anticipation. Finally, the mystery would be revealed.
They Open the Chest
As Frank approached the chest, he readied his bolt cutters. The lock was surprisingly sturdy given its age but quickly gave way to the bolt cutters. With a loud clang, the lock fell to the ground. Now all they had to do was open the lid of the chest. Frank took photos of the chest, wanting to make sure everything was documented.
The Chest is Pried Open
It took some prying to get the old lid open but eventually they got it to budge. It creaked as it opened. Piles of dirt and dust fell off it. The chest was fragile so they were careful not to break anything. Once the lid was open, they could tell there was something inside. But it was too dark to see.
Frank Grabs a Light
Frank grabbed one of his lights and shone it down onto the open chest. He gasped as he saw what was inside: an old rifle and a pile of letters wrapped in twine. Regardless of whether these were, in fact, the possessions of Alexander Hamilton, they had just discovered something of remarkable historical value.
Frank Takes a Closer Look
Being careful not to touch or disturb the letters, which were no doubt incredibly fragile, Frank used his light to inspect them more closely. The text was difficult to make out. But he saw two key pieces of information that would change his life forever. He saw a date, 1775. These were indeed letters from the Revolutionary War period.
Frank Realizes What He’s Found
Then, as Frank looked even closer at one of the letters, he saw what he’d been looking for: a signature. The unmistakable signature of one A. Hamilton, aide to General Washington. It was true. This was a chest containing the belongings of Alexander Hamilton when he served alongside George Washington.
Frank couldn’t help but celebrate a bit. He let out a whoop of excitement. It scared Brad a bit. Frank had found a hidden secret treasure that he had long believed existed somewhere in town. But as the years went by, he became convinced he’d never find it. He knew exactly what to do next.
Frank Makes Some Calls
Frank quickly made some phone calls. And he took countless photos. He knew that this chest had to be protected by preservationists who could not only keep the chest and letters safe, but restore them so that their contents could be examined. This was a phenomenal discovery and all the historians Frank talked to could barely contain their excitement.
The Chest is Saved
Before long, Brad watched as an entire team of people came into his basement and expertly extracted the chest and its contents. Brad and Frank made the local news. Historians across the country couldn’t wait to read the letters contained within the chest. This was one of the most remarkable historical discoveries made in many years.
Brad Donates Everything to a Museum
Brad decided to donate the chest and its contents to a local museum. He thought perhaps that these items would entice more people to visit the town of Stillwater and learn more about the town’s remarkable history. As the items were inspected, they were all dated and authenticated. There was no doubt these items had belonged to Alexander Hamilton himself.
Brad and Frank Are Celebrated
Brad and Frank were interviewed and featured in seemingly countless articles about the discovery. Pretty much everyone Brad knew called him up to say they saw him online or in the papers. Brad felt like he was practically a celebrity. Before long, his friends jokingly started comparing him to the Nicolas Cage character in the movie National Treasure.
But One Hero Still Needed to Be Rewarded
Lost in all this fanfare and commotion was perhaps the true hero of the whole story: Gus the bloodhound. If not for Gus, this priceless treasure might’ve remained hidden forever. Gus didn’t understand what was going on but Brad fed him a huge, delicious meal every night for a week. Gus had never been happier in his entire life.
The events of this story are entirely fictional and are products of the author’s imagination. Images included are meant for illustration purposes only. Any resemblance to actual events, places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.