Forest, VA - A local man was devastated after losing a 200-year-old key that had been in his family for centuries. This key was more than a neat artifact - it was his only way to get into a building in his backyard.
The old smoke house was built in the late 1800's. Back in the day, it's where Benjamin Lindsay's grandfather would hang meat and cook it. Now, it's where Lindsay stores his essentials.
"We couldn't get in to get to the freezer or the tools," said Lindsay.
When he lost the key to the smokehouse, Lindsay was determined to get back in.
"We had to come in here."
They scoured the yard with metal detectors and eventually broke into a side window, taking it off the hinges.
"You found some change, but no key?" we asked.
"No key," said Lindsay.
Lindsay called a locksmith, hoping he wouldn't have to replace the lock and key.
"He said, 'There's no way for us to make a key like that.' He said that key must have been from the 1800's. And then another fella came up and said, '1800's? More like 1700's,'"said Lindsay.
He needed to find someone who could make them like they used to.
"He was our mail carrier 16 years ago," said Bobby Ricketts, a blacksmith.
Bobby Ricketts is a hobby blacksmith. He became close with Lindsay over the years and offered make a new key for him.
"First time making a key," said Ricketts.
Ricketts did a little research and had it finished within 12 hours.
"It was pretty exciting, especially when I put the lock on and I let Mr. Lindsay turn it. He saw it worked and just smiled," said Ricketts.
"We are so thankful that Bob could do that for us," said Lindsay.
Now, Mr. Lindsay can get into his smokehouse the easy way - right through the front door.
"We celebrated by eating good out of the freezer and using our tools and whatever we need done," said Lindsay.
Ricketts would not accept any cash for the key, but Lindsay insisted and gave him enough for Ricketts to take his wife out to a nice dinner.