Young Woman Led to Fortune by Great-Grandfather's Mysterious Scavenger Hunt

Iris Rogers grew up on The Old Homestead, a several-hundred-acre farm in upstate New York that has been in her family since 1787. Having returned to the farm in recent years, where she manages the property and runs her own CBD business, Rogers found herself embroiled in a real-life mystery, involving secret clues, creepy attics, and a small fortune.

Documenting the journey on TikTok, Rogers began with a simple task in mind: locating the original deed to her family's property. In her videos, she explains that her great-grandfather, Elbert, is said to have hidden the original deed to the family land in a milk can, presumably to keep it safe.

As reported by Insider, Elbert's plan backfired when, as the story goes, the can containing the deed was accidentally filled with milk and sent out for delivery.

Rogers, however, wasn't completely sold on the family lore, leading the 27-year-old hemp farmer to embark on finding the deed herself.

Searching through the farm's abandoned milk cans, she discovered her first clue: a pamphlet with a note written inside. "Top of the stairs, to the left," read the handwritten note.

From that one clue, Rogers embarked on a wild hunt covering every inch of her farm. The note in the pamphlet led to a poem transcribed in a book, which in turn led her to a glass bottle hidden in the trunk of an apple tree.

After investigating decades-old postcards and navigating dusty crawlspaces over the course of twelve videos, Rogers started to realize that the hunt her great-grandfather had sent her on might lead to something bigger, and more important, than just the deed.

Rogers eventually reached a dead-end when she discovered her final clue, which led her exactly back to where she started: the family's horse barn. Believing she had already searched the barn in its entirety, she almost gave up. But, after one last-ditch look, she was surprised to notice a hidden cupboard that almost seamlessly blended into the wall.

And, while Rogers and her thousands of invested viewers were still hoping she would find the deed in the cupboard, what was actually hidden led to something arguably better.

In the cupboard, Rogers discovered a framed reprint of a lithograph by Currier & Ives, a well-regarded American printmaking firm until the turn of the 20th century.

While the reprint that Rogers found didn't have much monetary value, she had a suspicion that it was another one of Elbert's sneaky clues—and she was right. After days of questioning her extended family, Rogers heard the story she'd been waiting for. According to family lore, Elbert had bought three original Currier & Ives lithographs for a low price, sold them off, and then, in haste, re-purchased one of the prints he had sold. Meaning that one original lithograph might still be somewhere in Roger's family.

After calling around to different family members, Rogers managed to locate the original print in the possession of a relative. The family had no idea of its value, which Rogers has appraised at up to $30,000.

For now, Rogers feels confident that she discovered what Elbert's clues had been leading towards. However, due in part to the popularity of her series, she has not quite given up on finding that family deed, once and for all.

In her most recent updates, Rogers reveals that she hired a medium to visit the family farm, in hopes that it might help lead her to her next clue. In the meantime, her over 330,000 followers are waiting in anticipation for the next chapter of this real-life mystery.

Message in a Bottle
Viewers are enthralled by Iris Roger's bizarre quest that sounds straight mystery novel. Graeme Robertson/Getty Images