NEWBURYPORT — The granddaughter of Priscilla Bradford has stepped forward to claim her grandmother’s 1933 Newburyport High School class ring, which had been missing for decades before turning up in a local liquor store’s office.
Port Wine and Spirits clerk Diane Torpey said Bradford’s granddaughter reached out to her following reports of the ring’s discovery and would be coming to retrieve the ring in the coming days.
Torpey said she was thrilled to hear from the granddaughter, who wished to remain anonymous, and said it was a happy ending for the ring’s decades-long odyssey.
At some point after Bradford’s graduation in the spring of 1933, the ring was misplaced, and eventually it found its way into the lost and found box at Port Wine and Spirits on Storey Avenue in Newburyport. The ring recently resurfaced after employees found the box while cleaning out the office, and Torpey took it to Newburyport High School hoping to find out who it belonged to.
The ring had the initials PB engraved on the interior of the band, and Newburyport High School records showed that the ring probably belonged to Bradford, who was the only girl with the initials PB in the NHS class of 1933.
Earlier this week, Torpey and her colleagues reached out to The Daily News to help spread the word in hopes of returning the ring to its rightful owner. Several TV stations picked up the story shortly afterward, and people began calling in droves to help solve the mystery.
“Between my phone and the store phone, it’s been off the hook,” Torpey said.
Then on Wednesday night, Torpey said she got a call from Bradford’s granddaughter, who said she heard about the ring and wanted to come to the store to pick it up.
“Her granddaughter was completely surprised,” Torpey said about her reaction when she first heard the news. “She didn’t even know it existed.”
Torpey wouldn’t say whether Bradford’s family still lives in the area, but she did say that at some point after graduating, Bradford married the former owner of Fowles’ Gourmet Market on High Street. She added that Bradford passed away roughly 12 years ago, when she would have been in her mid-80s.
But the good news is that her mother, and Priscilla’s daughter, is still alive, and the granddaughter said she plans on giving her the ring for her birthday next week.
“She’s wicked happy,” Torpey said. “She’s just overjoyed and I think it’s wonderful that she’s going to give it to her mother for her birthday.”