Country Auction

Bidding on the Racks

Bidding on the Racks


On-site auctions are not as common as they once were, but the amount of biddables in this one made it convenient to hold the auction at the farm itself.  The farm was located north of Eureka, Illinois. I regret I did not snap a picture of the house. We estimate it was from the early 1800’s with all the wonderful outbuildings:  big red barn, wood shop, laundry house, summer kitchen, well house, wind mill and milk house.

The owners were retiring to a nearby senior village and were down-sizing. Hay racks of goods from the family were parked around the entry drive and antique furniture ringed the front yard. A large step-back cupboard had pride-of-place on the front porch. The auction trucks with microphones drove next to the racks, pickers held up articles, and bidders…bid.

When we were in the business, we used to say you could eventually find anything at the auction. If you were in the market for an antique tractor, wooden snow skids for your wagon, wicker furniture, old doors-windows-and-fancy-screen-doors, tools, glassware, and everything else you can imagine a typical family would accumulate after 40 years or so, then you can imagine what was going up for bid.

My husband bought a heavy chain with hooks to help pull out old railroad ties for our landscape project and a chair for a re-finishing project. I bid on some primitives but did not want to go as high as other hopefuls, so I enjoyed the day but did not take home any new goodies. There is always another auction. We made good use of the lunch camper. I ate a smothered hot dog and couldn’t pass up a frozen candy bar to top it off. Auction food is not low in calories.

Listening to the cadence of a skilled auctioneer on a perfect summer day…bliss.



About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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