Something interesting lurks in New Hope thrift store

A few weeks ago, I took a trip to New Hope, Pa. For those who aren’t familiar with the area, check out this top five post that talks about some of the great things New Hope has to offer.

Before leaving the community, I stopped in this little thrift store. What drew me to the shop was that they had a few graduation gifts from the class of 2001, 2005, etc. which brought nostalgia to those and for me for that I would soon be graduating college, too.

I step inside the building and I’m met with a plethora of items at all angles of the store. There are toy cars, flags, dolls – you name it, it’s there. Even though I wasn’t really interested in any particular item, I did want to check out what the store had to offer.

As I made my way to the checkout counter, I saw a small bowl. Next to that bowl was a hand mannequin, used for rings, and a paper butterfly. Just for the picture, I put the butterfly in the upright mannequin hand because it was pretty. Back to the bowl.

The bowl had a bunch of keys in it. Old keys. Newer keys. Just a bunch of keys. And here’s where my questions began.

Who donated them? Why did they donate them? What purpose did the keys serve that they no longer fulfill?

After a little researching – surprisingly it’s very easy to look for specific keys – I found the key that’s on the right of the blue keychain. it’s a Restorers Classic 2 1/2 Inch Plain Bow Drawer Key.

According to the website, this key “fits most old American furniture and cabinet locks.” I didn’t grow up with cabinet locks, or at least we never had them in my household, so I never knew that this was a real thing. Maybe homeowners, years ago, made great use out of the keys but since upgraded. There’s a few of those keys in there (and I’m not sure if most of those keys serve the same purpose) but it’s still interesting to watch this evolution over time.

I think another question to ask is: Do these people donate the keys or do they donate something and the keys just happen to be in there?

Because those keys are (seemingly) old, it might be more likely that they were just left in whatever the person happened to donate.

But who doesn’t love to romanticize things like this? Like, what if the key (or keys) was donated after a couple wrote their names on a lock and put it somewhere? That conclusion doesn’t seem too unlikely as New Hope is a very loving and accepting place.

There is a lock bridge in Lambertville, a neighboring town of New Hope, so that conclusion seems very likely – probably just because I want to believe in that kind of cute love story.

Also, because Lambertville and New Hope are both old towns with rich histories, it also seems ideal that these keys were donated years later after a family, couple or even just a single person who bought a house and had that key to their house didn’t need it anymore.

This is an ongoing tale. I want to know more about the history behind these keys. The keys themselves have to have a history, and I’ll hopefully be able to update as more information comes along.

If you, or someone you know, has any relevant information about the content of this story and wants to share your story, feel free to click here. I hope to continue this story as time goes on.

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