POD – Finding a Lock

Long time readers know that we own a house built in 1917. We have most of the original doors – including an original door on our bedroom.  This has posed a problem as we do not have a way of locking the kids out of our room without destroying the door.  We have talked in the past about saying screw it – and putting a more modern lock on it, but in the end, we haven’t been able to bring ourselves to do it.  Plus, usually someone who knows the value of those doors will express great outrage – so we’ll decide against it.

Last year about this time, I went on a quest to find the skeleton key to our door’s lock.  And failed.  Before G left for his night ‘o fun, I requested he put a lock on the doors. Why? I was hoping to have my own night of fun after the girls went to bed.

After an extensive search, he bought a new locking mechanism for our door. I tried to install it, but the key hole and door nob hole was not lining up despite our attempts. We got one door lock fixed, but that was it.  We all went back to Hippo Hardware to find another solution.

First off, this is the convention center tower – one of them. Notice the blue sky? Yep – it wasn’t raining this weekend. Quite cold, but nice to see the real sunshine versus the liquid kind.
Hippo is quite amazing really. Bins filled with knobs, doors hinges, latches, and screws – all to match whatever age house you have.  Some are reproductions – but most are reclaimed.  
You literally found door knob plates hanging everywhere.  This was the stair well going up to the lightning area. 

So, were we successful? Yes. The hardware guy and gal took apart our lock from our door and made an important discovery: our lock had never been keyed. This discovery meant we would never find a key because the lock was “a virgin”.  It was quite a fun process watching these experts ooh and ahh over our lock as they took it apart, carefully cleaned it, then reassumed it.  In the end, they made a key after keying the lock.  In the future, I will be going there first.  They were great compared to their competitor who I have visited before. The other place has experts, but not nearly as friendly or helpful with trying to help their customers keep their own original hardware.

And I did love the cashier too. I suspect she is the accountant for the business as well. She writes out the receipts by hand. We asked her when they were going to give her a computer. She told us a story about when she had one – and how ever all of the work to get everything entered one night that a power outage erased it all.  Since she had to do it by hand that night, she decided to do it that way going forward. No power outage would prevent her from doing her job.  There is something amusing about knowing they went backwards in technology just because she got pissed on night after a long day of work lost.

So now, we are a proud owner of two locks with keys – original locks too.  Only took us a year to fix it.

Oh, and I love Portland and all of the art on buildings. Art like this:

5 Comments Add yours

  1. The lock story is so cool. I forwarded the link to my uncle. His son is fascinated with locks, key, etc and collects them.

    Glad you got a key. 🙂

  2. rc says:

    What a great story about your house
    and the cool hardware store…
    You and those places sound pretty

    I have family in Portland…Don’t
    get up there as often as I like but
    always enjoy the area and inhabitants!

  3. Just me... says:

    Ohh, a locking door is a must!! Congrats on getting one!! :):)

  4. Topaz says:

    This is such an interesting story. I find that many homes from that era around here are rented out (and high rates) and not kept in the original state, or in good condition for that matter. That you have a lock that was never, well, locked, from that era tells its own interesting story. You make me want to know the history of the house a little more.

    Oh, and I hope you had a reason to finally use that lock 😉

  5. That is such a cool story. I love how the key people were so excited about your virgin lock.

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