In the midst of gathering donations for a busy rummage sale last September, volunteers at St. Paul’s United church in Sidney discovered what could best be described as hidden treasure.
Tucked inside a small, decorative stone box were two pieces of delicately designed women’s jewelry that looked rather old.
“We did have a collectibles table, and so they could have been donated for that,” says Karen Booth, administrator for the church. “But when the volunteers opened the box and saw (the jewelry), they immediately brought it to me.”
Volunteers remembered an older woman in a blue coat dropping off a reusable shopping bag with the decorative box inside, but had no idea who she was.
Booth and the volunteers are concerned that the jewelry could have significant sentimental value and may have been donated by mistake.
Since finding the jewelry, Booth says she and other volunteers have spent the last eight months putting notices in church newsletters and talking to members of the congregation, but they’ve had no luck locating either the woman who originally dropped off the items, or anyone who knows who she might be.
“It’s probably someone from the community, because we had a little notice in the paper to donate items,” says Booth.
“If they were meant to be donated, we’ll sell them and the money will go to an outreach program,” she says. “We just want to make sure we’ve exhausted every possibility.”
“We’d just like to connect them back to family in case they’re heirlooms. If they were my great-granny’s, I’d want my daughter to have them.”
The items have since been appraised at a modest value, and dated to the early 1900s, likely in the ‘20s.
If you recognize the stone box and know who the jewelry belonged to, or if you are the owner, and can identify the items and would like them back, please contact Karen Booth at the church at email@example.com.