DENVER (CBS4)– The contents of a safe hidden in the basement of a university in Denver has been locked away for decades, its combination unknown, no one was able to crack it to find out what was inside.

At Johnson and Wales University that mystery was finally revealed on Thursday when a locksmith ventured into the basement of the abandoned building on campus, that was rumored to be haunted, and cracked open that walk in safe.

The 108-year-old safe was cracked at Johnson & Wales University to reveal school history (credit: CBS)

The 108-year-old safe was cracked at Johnson & Wales University to reveal school history (credit: CBS)

“The difficulty is that it’s locked,” said the locksmith. “It’s designed to keep people out.”

Not much is known about the safe but there was an inscription on the lock from May 22, 1908 that added to the suspense and speculation about what may have been inside the safe with the words “Cary Safe Co.” painted on the side in gold paint.

“Maybe gold, possibly,” said one school administrator.

“I was kind of hoping there would be some bones or something in there,” said one student.

Johnson and Wales University is located at 7150 E Montview Blvd. in Denver.

The locksmith had a plan to crack the safe, “If I drill a hole that pierces inside the lock body, I can break the lock.”

Before the door was opened a fiber optic scope was placed inside to make sure there wasn’t anything dangerous stored behind the locked safe door.

The head of campus security was taking every precaution.

“I’m kind of a worst case scenario kind of guy,” he said. “Canisters of some type of gas or something like that.”

What they found wasn’t gold, but a goldmine of history.

“This is from 1914, ma’am,” said the school archivist.

Old yearbooks, old grade books and old bonds were found stacked inside the safe.

The clearing out of the safe clears the way for the building to undergo a complete renovation so it can be filled with students and activities once again.

The contents of the safe will be cataloged, studied and saved as part of the school’s history.

The school archivist said she plans to spend her summer reading all of the contents found in the safe.


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