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Friday, September 26, 2003

Amazing discovery

There’s an old wooden two-story building in my neighborhood. Ramshackle would be the best way to describe it. And unsightly. On the first floor is an old hardware-liquor store combination. The upstairs, with its filthy windows, appears to be vacant. There is a little ledge between the first and second stories where the pigeons roost every night. The whole thing is really hard to look at.

The owner passed away earlier this year. Since then, the hardware-liquor store has been closed. Every time I drive by there, I wonder what will become of the building or if it will be torn down.

The local television news did a piece on the contents of the building tonight. Contained therein are 19 very vintage automobiles and a 1912 Harley Davidson motorcycle in excellent condition. Wow! I would never have imagined anything like this was so nearby.

They moved a lot of the stuff out today. Everything is going on the auction block on October 18 and 19. I hunted down the auctioneer’s web site for this sale. There's a photo of a wooden Kickapoo Indian oil statue. Wow! Lots of other photos and great descriptions there. Very cool.

UPDATE THE NEXT DAY: Just found out. Dave Bakke, reporter-writer-journalist-columnist-all-around-really-neat-guy, of the SJR has been dogging this story for over a year. He did get the story, just not the particular one he was going after:

But how and why did Don collect all of these cars? Why did he hoard so much stuff? Why did he keep it all such a secret? What is the history of this place, and what did it mean to the family for so many years? What are the stories it could tell? (Springfield’s secret museum: Vintage vehicles brought to light after decades.)

I'd love to know.

Posted by Marie at September 26, 2003 12:36 AM


I went to this hardware store a couple of times long ago and found it fascinating. May be the pack rat in me. Looking at the auction site I remember the smell of the place old wood and stale beer. Not an unpleasant memory.

Sorry to hear of the owner passing but with the new Sixth Street overpass this is possibly prime real estate.

Posted by: Katherine at September 26, 2003 11:57 AM