Silly me, I thought you had to earn something like this! I keep forgetting that money can't buy happiness- but it can sure help.

A rare treasure recently popped up on popular auction site Not much is known about the item listed for sale, but the pictures seem to back up this seller's claims. An Ebay seller out of Mattawan, MI has just listed a "Key to the City of Kalamazoo" and it's up for grabs to the highest bidder!

107.7 WRKR-FM logo
Get our free mobile app

According to the key's seller, dwhindy500, there's not much that's known for certain about the key other than it was produced by "TBW Industries" of Los Gatos, California. However,

Story has it that this key was presented to the conductor of the Kalamazoo symphony orchestra. Sounds good I bought it over 10 years ago.
Sounds good enough to me! The seller says in addition to the 7 inch oversized key you'll get a nice velour dust bag to store it in.

I think I have more questions than answers: Who did the key belong to? Why did it end up for sale? Who is dwhindy500 and where did they purchase the key? How does one get a Key to the City in the first place?

dhwindy500 via Ebay
dhwindy500 via Ebay

According to Brown University, the origins of giving keys to the city goes back to Medieval times. Back then cities were walled up so giving the literal key to the city was a symbol of trust and honor, and meant the recipient could come and go as they pleased.

In modern times, an ornamental (non-functional) key is presented to esteemed visitors, residents, or others the city wishes to honor.

It seems to me that a conductor of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra would fit that criteria!

Looking back at past conductors of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra I would guess that Gregory Millar, who conducted the orchestra from the early to late '60s and shared a stage with such talented artists as Duke Ellington, could be the key's original owner. Or perhaps Canada's Pierre Hetu, who led the symphony from 1968-74, could be the right fit too.

dwhindy500 via Ebay
dwhindy500 via Ebay

We may never know to whom the key belonged to, but at least seller dwhindy500 has given you a start-- now it's your turn to fill in the blanks and choose your own ending! Would you pay $99 to own a Key to the City of Kalamazoo?

Portraits from Kalamazoo's Ferraro Studio Resurface. Do You Recognize Anyone?

Sharon Ferraro, daughter of Lance Ferraro who owned and operated Ferraro Studios in Kalamazoo from 1964-2000, recently found these unclaimed portraits in her dad's storage and is trying to reconnect them with their rightful owners. See someone you know? Contact Sharon at

More From 107.7 WRKR-FM