After the Great Depression, it was hard for lots of people to regain trust in the banks and the entire banking system. Most banks during the depression were over leveraged and had almost 99% of people’s money lent out in car, consumer, and home loans. As a result, when people started losing trust in the banks, then people started running to the banks to get their money out. Understandably, people were “once bitten, and twice shy” from the affects of this tough economic time in our country’s history.
As a result, people stopped saving their money in the banks, and resulted to hiding their money and valuables in their home. From talking with my Grandpa, he expressed how no one trusted the local banks. They were viewed as a bunch of crooks, and Grandpa still had a disgust for one particular banker who foreclosed on one of his dad’s properties.
Understandable, people started taking control of their money, and not allowing the bank to have it. That is the height of when people started to hide their valuables in their own home. Hiding them in the oddest places you’d ever think to look. Here are few of the places my Grandpa said his family hid their valuables, and others I found in researching this topic.
- In the bed/mattress – this is the most common place you hear of the Great Depression generation hiding their valuables and is most often where you find them left behind.
- In the wall – in a lot of the old homes people had gone to great lengths to hide their valuables, and folks would cut holes in their wall in order to secure coins or cash. Here is a great DIY video on how to make a money hiding spot inside your own wall.
- Piano or piano bench legs – in recently talking with a co-worker he purchased an old piano and bench and found 3 gold coins hidden in a hollowed out bench leg.
- Backyard – have you heard of this story? A couple found $10 million in gold coins in canisters in their backyard their dog dug up part of one can and came to find a bunch of 1800’s coins. The couple wanted to remain anonymous after their new found wealth, which is completely understandable.
- Attic – the place that people often go the least and is where robbers would most likely not look.
- Door – really? Doors? Ya, a lot of people would hollow a hole in their doors and stuff cash or coins in them. I didn’t really understand how this would be possible but found a great tutorial on burying coins in your door.
- Cabinets – in a lot of old Victorian homes people would create secret hiding places in their cabinetry. Below is a long video of a guy walking through a Victorian home, and showing all the hiding spots you could find hidden money. Fast forward to 11:30 in the video and see the hollowed out cabinet.
Updated ideas from 2017:
- Behind vents – from talking with my Grandpa, he’d often have a vent cover that was a false vent cover, which he could quickly remove and put back. This way he could add coins or gold pieces to his stash quickly if he needed to.
- In the shed – some people might find this unsecure, but a lot of great depressionists would put their coins in the shed where robbers would lease likely look. From an old story that my dad told me, he heard of a guy who put all his gold coins in the block of an old engine in his machine shed on the farm. He came home one day to find his entire shed cleaned out! Come to find out his wife decided to take all the old machine shed “junk” to the local dump! Point is, make sure you tell someone (especially your spouse) where you are hiding your gold and silver!
- Piano – a lot of the bigger older pianos went unused for a lot of farmers during the depression. Instead of being used a musical instrument, farmers would hollow out their pianos to store gold and silver coins. Pretty neat idea and has the ability to store a lot of valuables.
Thrifty Creative Money Hiding Ideas in Household Goods
Well, readers, these are just a few of the areas that my Grandpa would tell me that his family would hide their money. I’m sure I’ve missed some that your family hid their money during the Depression. I’d love to hear from our readers on where did your family members hide money or what is the strangest place you heard of people finding money hidden?