My family and I have had a lot of garage sales. It was when we’d be prepping for a sale that we’d find a ton of things we never knew (or remembered, I guess) existed. Most of the time we would find broken toys, or teddy bears that we abandoned. But, sometimes, we would get our hands on some cool things. I remember one time I found my mom’s floor length, faux fur, coat. Bingo! That was a treasure for me!
Now, imagine discovering REAL hidden treasure under your nose! To reveal a secret truth that’s been with you all along, that you had no idea existed! This is my dream scenario, and this woman’s story makes me want to ransack my own house for passed down antiquities.
Her story dates back a few generations to her father’s dad’s mother’s father’s time. He was in possession of a Bellows Falls Hymnal, one of the first produced from the Latter Day Saints Church, from 1844. What this woman is about to find out next changes her life.
She knew her grandmother was a devoutly religious woman when she inherited this hymnal from her father in memory of his mother. What she didn’t realize after having kept it safely stowed away in the basement, is that the inscription inside was from 104 years before her grandmother had the book, making it even older than she thought.
Having a slight inkling that the hymnal could be worth something, this curious woman brought it into the Antiques Roadshow in Salt Lake City to have it appraised by antiquarian bookseller Ken Sanders. Ken was able to shed light on a bit of the history and worth of the book. He explained to her that this isn’t the earliest production of hymnals. However, it is one of the earliest productions and the first to include musical notations along with words.
And what makes it so rare is that at the time when these hymnals were produced, they were thrown out once they got too ratty and used up, prompting new ones to be printed and circulated. For whatever reason, this one was held on to when all the others were tossed out, making it extra valuable, and very uncommon for it to exist a century and a half later.
When Ken breaks down just how much of a treasure this hymnal is, she breaks down and cries. Click to see the full story and her emotional reaction.