Restoring classic cars is often like archeology, and V8 Speed and Resto Shop team member Mike Bess just had an Indiana Jones moment! The city of Kimmswick Missouri Historical Society had a historic travel trunk in their possession, brought to the USA by Theodore Kimm from Germany before he founded the town. The problem was that it was locked.. with no key. Read the story of how Mike Bess called upon his trove of historic artifacts to gain access to the mystery trunk!
A couple of years ago, the Kimmswick Historical Society purchased a travel trunk from the estate of a long-time Kimmswick resident. The KHS really wanted to own this trunk because it was the trunk that Theodore Kimm (the founder of Kimmswick) traveled with when he immigrated to St. Louis from Germany in approximately 1835. We now owned the trunk, but there was one problem… we could not locate a key to unlock the trunk. We knew it had to be one of those old-time long, skinny keys. The word went out to family and friends, and we must have tried 1,000++ keys. We put the key search on pause, and removed the pins from the hinges. We were “certain” that the trunk had to contain important travel documents, or Mr. Kimm’s journal, or something else as equally exciting. No such luck. The previous owner had stored several blankets in the trunk. We continued our search for the key. Perseverance pays off. Two weeks ago, a gentleman visited our Burgess-How Log Cabin. Nadine Garland told him the story and he asked to see the trunk. She brought him to the Museum and he spent a while examining and measuring the lock. He said that if he didn’t have a key, he could make one. Yesterday, Mike Bess returned to the Museum with the KEY!!!! KHS members are very happy because now we can freshen up the trunk and display it properly. Thank you Mike Bess! You are the Best.