A stolen piece of the historic Dillon House in downtown Topeka has been returned. The 35-pound brass front door knocker was reported missing last week. Michael Langfitt is with Pioneer Group, which purchased the home around a year ago and is restoring the facility. He says the building has a lion theme and the knocker is one of 26 depictions of a lion in the home.
“It is the head of a male lion holding two snakes in its mouth. They are entwined holding the globe. And the door knocker is probably nine or 10 inches tall, about 20 inches wide,” says Langfitt.
Langfitt says after it was taken they put out the call on social media and local news outlets. Last night (TUE), they received an anonymous phone message saying it had been returned to the property.
“And lo and behold there was a pillow case holding not just the door knocker but all of the pieces of it, the screws and the snakes, which are separate pieces, all very carefully wrapped up,” says Langfitt.
Langfitt says they believe the door knocker was commissioned as part of the home’s construction, so replacing it would have been nearly impossible or at least very expensive. The 100-year-old facility sits across the street from the Statehouse in Topeka. When the restoration is finished, the Dillon House will include a conference center and offices.