Delaware bank cracks open historic vault

It’s been a mystery for decades – what’s inside the historic vault at The First National Bank of Wyoming?

The old safe, built in the late 1800s, has been sitting untouched in the basement of the bank in Camden, Delaware for at least 50 years.

Today, the bank along with the CenDel Foundation hosted a “crack the safe” event to finally reveal the contents. Leading up to the big reveal, raffle tickets were sold around central Delaware and one lucky winner, Benjamin Reed of Dover, was chosen to receive the contents of the safe and a $1,000 prize.

Pro-Lock and Safe, a Camden key and security company, successfully opened the vault this morning, and while it wasn’t filled with gold bricks and diamonds, it did have a little something for the raffle winner.

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“There were some keys in there and approximately eight coins,” said Judy Cook of the bank. “We know there was a buffalo head nickel and a quarter dated 1892 and some pennies.”

Buffalo head nickels were circulated between 1916 and 1938 and vary in worth depending on its condition and the year minted.

Cook added that the coins were actually discovered under a floor board in the vault.

Shelly Cecchett, executive director of the CenDel Foundation said the money sold from the raffle tickets will go to a variety of charities to support central Delaware.

“In the end we raised over $23,000 to support the CenDel Foundation, but also about 13 other non-profit organizations throughout Central Delaware who chose to sell the raffle tickets,” she explained.

The bank is still trying to decide what they’re going to do with the vault; however bank President and CEO Joe Chippie has one possible idea.

“We may run another promotion and turn it into a time capsule,” he said.

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