Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Good Old Iowa Country Auction

Today the weather rained pretty much all day. But the misty, rainy conditions did not stop hundreds of bargain seekers (like above) from attending the Gene Anderson estate auction north of Stone City in rural Iowa. Today was also very different. In the past 15 years or so the number of farm house auctions have all but disappeared. Around the 42N area you now experience auctions at sale houses that are often made up of multiple family estate belongings. Rarely do you have the opportunity to walk on private land held by the estate, that may have been in the family for generations. Today we were treated to be present on a farm long held by the same family.

Auctioneer Ed Shover (seen in the window of the covered trailer) called the sale of farmhouse and machine shed items to the mostly farm community audience. It is hard to believe that only two days ago we were in the 90Fs. Today the temperature struggled to get to 50F and people dressed for the conditions.

The Anderson property is located at the elbow of two roads. The northern portion served as a parking lot for nearly a quarter of a mile. The same was true on the road going east. I parked on the east road and made ten trips to the vehicle in the rain to store away treasures being selected by the 42N purchasing agent. Many items will appear on eBay soon.

Gene, although a farmer by trade, loved aviation. During his life he built many a model plane with small gas powered engines. He flew them over the meadows on his property. 

Gene also owned two Allis Chalmer tractors which were auctioned off for roughly $3700 each today. This one did not have power steering but started and moved like it did when the tractor was built in the early 1950s. Two farmers purchased the tractors for their individual farms.

An auction at a farm is an opportunity for the surrounding community to gather. Today's auction at Gene Anderson's was attended by family, friends, the farming community of Stone City and Anamosa, Iowa and other auction lovers. What you see above is a typical scene repeated at these auctions by active and retired farm members.

If you get a chance to attend an estate auction, be it on a farm, plantation, warehouse or large house, talk to the local people about who owned the items, get their impressions about the person, the land and way they lived. I certainly got an earful today. Know that.