May 2, 2010 10:13
Civil War Era Safe En Route To North Texas
North Texas Civil War enthusiasts are in for a treat. A safe about 150 years old is on its way to Fort Worth from Richmond, Virginia. "It's very significant and it's a one of a kind artifact and we are anxious to have it on display," said Ray Richey Curator of the Texas Civil War Museum in Fort Worth.
Richey can talk in detail about every piece at the museum: From a sword that came from the Grant family in the late 1960s to the Victorian dresses on display. He knows the story behind everyone of them. Richey says he's a history buff and right now he just can't wait for this latest addition at the museum. "To my knowledge there was only one of them," explains Richey.
Documents and secret papers during the Civil War are believed to have been kept deep within the vaults of the safe. Richey said the safe was used by Texan John Reagan who served in the Cabinet of the Confederacy as Post Master General during the war. "It was very important that the Confederate Government had a safe place to keep their documents," Richey said. "It's something that if it could tell the story it would have quite a story to tell. "The Texas Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy raised $19,000 to get the safe to North Texas. They think it will cost about $12,000 to get it here."
It's one of a kind. It lived through the war. It lived through the fire after the war," said Esther Sims with the group. "I wish it could talk because I'm sure we would find out a lot." The project has been in the works for years. The group says it couldn't think of a better place then the museum in Fort Worth. Before the safe is moved to the museum it will have to be opened. At this time, no one here knows if it's ever been unlocked or what's inside. "We are hoping there will be lots of treasure inside but we don't really know," says Richey.
For Richey, he's anxious to preserve a piece of history and said the museum's latest treasure could blow away all his expectations.The safe is expected to arrive in Carrollton Monday morning. It will be cleaned and then moved to the museum in about a month