In 1854, the city of Leavenworth was founded as the first city in Kansas.
The city was considered the “jumping-off point” for people heading west towards Oregon and California. Today, many of the city’s original structures from its early years are still standing and have become popular tourist attractions.
Original homes from the 1800s have also been passed on down generation to generation before being sold to new owners. One example is the home owned by Thad and Robin Krasnesky.
Krasnesky and his wife acquired the 140-year-old, 9,000-square-foot home in 2021. They see themselves not as homeowners but as stewards of its history.
Their story was covered by the local news network KCTV5 News. The couple shared how they started finding treasure within and around their new old house.
“When we pulled the shelving aside, we saw that there was this metal thing that was bolted into the stone,” said Krasnesky.
He shared they thought it was cool, so they pulled it out to see what was hiding behind the wall. They found a walled-off room except for one hole filled with dirt. They began looking through the house for hidden treasure.
Their first find was hidden on top of a 12-foot bookshelf.
They found a Civil War-era presentation cane and pocket watch. Krasnesky found the owner’s heir and gave the antique items to them.
Next, someone noticed a non-functioning transom in one room. She took out the painting in front of it, pulled out the nails, and found a nook with books.
They found “The Scarlet Letter,” “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm,” and “Ben-Hur,” dated 1907.
They also explored the attic. Raccoons, HVAC system problems, and weird sounds coming from the attic compelled Krasnesky to go up and check on the room.
When he got upstairs, he saw a loose floorboard and pulled up the carpet and floorboard. When he stuck his hand in, he found two jars of silver coins.
The coins were dated 1916 and from the 1890s.
Krasnesky enjoys playing with coins because of the sound they make, which he says sounds different from today’s coins.
Krasnesky is an investment counselor by day and a writer by night. “And so in my mind, if you have an old house, there should be skeletons and hidden treasure,” he said.
His friends are helping him with his mission of finding more hidden treasure inside the home., They help him dig, carry out the rubble, and sift the rubble using a homemade shaker.
Krasnesky sees the house as being around 140 years before he got there, and it will still be there 140 years after he’s gone.
The first owner died three months after moving in in 1885. The house went to his daughter, then to his granddaughters who died in the 1970s.
Krasnesky also created a Facebook page called Krasnesky Manor for Wayward Cats to chronicle his finds.
Then he started hosting metal detector parties in and around the house with the proceeds of the events going to the historical society.
One of the attendees is Ray Schultz, who’s been a fan of metal detecting for years.
He found an 1870s freight token for the Wagon Works of the West in the house’s garden.
When asked about when he might stop hunting for treasure, Krasnesky answered, “Since I do not plan on ever moving, ever again, I will probably stop sometime around the time I die.”
Krasnesky also found old newspapers in the staircase posts.
While they were not worth a lot, he framed them and displayed them on the walls. The news shared that the whole house feels like a time capsule to Krasnesky and he wants it to feel that way for others years from now.
To do this, KCTV5 News Reporter Betsy Webster said that as Krasnesky does renovations, he puts current newspapers, coins, and notes throughout the house, because he also wants to give joy to the next caretaker of the home.
Watch the entire video of the hidden treasure found in the 140-year-old house below!
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