Letting Go

When you are a history lover and come from multiple generations of collectors, letting go of family heirlooms can be hard. This week I had a “Letting go” experience and yet by grounding what I felt, my experience was very positive. Here is the story…

In the late 30’s, my grandparent, Mallie and Herb Krombholz decided that it was time for them to take a huge risk and open their own jewelry store. They determined that Silverton was where they wanted to open this store, as it was being robustly developed along Montgomery and Plainfield Roads. Hearing that a jeweler in Clifton was interested in retiring, they decided to buy his inventory, showcases and business contents. Included in this content was a late 1800’s Mosler bank safe. With it’s 6” thick walls, this safe protected the Krombholz family jewels for the next 50 years until insurance requirement rendered the old Mosler obsolete.

Mosler Safe Company started in Cincinnati by Gustave Mosler and Fred Bahmann as the Mosler, Bahmann & Company in 1867. This company remained in Cincinnati until the 1890’s, then relocating for more space to Hamilton, Ohio.

Krombholz family folklore tells the story of this old Mosler safe being moved from Clifton to the new Krombholz store on Plainfield Avenue in Silverton on the back of a tow truck in June of 1940. I personally remember this same safe being crane lifted out of our fire devastated store in Silverton and in the middle of the night, again on the back of a tow truck, carried to my family home’s garage in Kenwood for safety in 1974.

This safe was moved to two more Krombholz homes until it reached its most recent resting spot in the back room of our current store. It sat there unused as a historic marker for 20 years. Several months ago, Heather Krombholz birthed an idea to turn the back room of our store into a Needlepoint Studio (more about that will be announced shortly). Needing the space, the old Mosler had to go.

OK, so listing this part of Krombholz’ 80-year-old history for sale felt weird, but seeing the excitement of the young family that came to pick it up reminded me that we are only temporary caretakers of these family heirlooms. This “temporary caretakers” realization is often being taught to us at Krombholz when we buy and sell antique jewelry. It was a joy to make room for a new business challenge like the one that Heather is taking on, just like the joy of sharing the beauty of piece of antique jewelry. Each piece of jewelry has their own stories to tell!

Just so you know, at Krombholz, we never get tired of hearing family heirloom stories. Whether it is about a piece of family furniture, your great aunt’s wedding ring, a car that your father restored or a needlepoint pillow your mother created, we love hearing these stories! That is what keeps the legacy alive!

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