When a small wooden cover in the floor is pulled back and a light is shined below, an old barrel can be seen in the basement/crawl space beneath the 148-year-old building that has been the longtime home of The Landmark Newspaper.
What’s the story behind the barrel? Is it a whiskey barrel? A wine barrel? Is the barrel connected to newspaper production in some way? What other unique and historical items might be found down there?
Though he has worked at The Landmark office in downtown Platte City for 35 years and owned the building for 15 years, Ivan Foley, Landmark publisher, has never climbed down into the basement/crawl space below the 148 year old Landmark building.
That all will change on Sunday afternoon in an event that will be broadcast live on the internet. “The Big Reveal,” as it’s being dubbed by some, will go live on Ivan Foley’s Facebook page Sunday at 3 p.m.
How long the broadcast lasts will depend on developments during the seek-and-find mission and progress in the attempt to raise the barrel up from the basement.
If the barrel is in good shape the plan is to eventually craft it into a piece of vintage furniture--a bar top table with the barrel serving as the base.
The dirt floor of the basement/crawl space appears to be about 8-10 ft. below the main floor of The Landmark office. The entire floor will be searched for potentially unique and intriguing items.
The building that now houses The Landmark was built in 1869. It initially housed a drug store and post office, then a grocery store and a hardware store before The Landmark moved in 118 years ago, in 1899.
The Landmark building is located at 252 Main Street in downtown Platte City. On the sidewalk in front of the building at The Landmark’s west property line, is a monument noting the general location as the site of “the original Platte County Courthouse. Built in 1840 and burned during the Civil War by Col. Morgan’s men the night of Dec. 16, 1861.”
Among the others scheduled to be taking part in Sunday’s trip to the underground and the raising of the barrel will be Todd Shifflett, lead designer on whatever the future holds for the barrel; Kurt Foley, son of the publisher who will be running the Facebook Live camera; Matthew Silber, Landmark cartoonist who will have a metal detector along to do some fishing in the dirt floor; and Aric Jennings of Platte City, a local realtor willing to add insights and muscle to the cause.