Saturday, August 13, 2011

History Lessons!

“Knowledge is of two kinds:
we know a subject ourselves
or we know where we can find
information upon it.”

           Samuel Johnson

 If you want to know more about the history of your area go to a century farm auction, with a local auctioneer who knew the family well.

 I am positive the main reason I am drawn to all these auctions is for the history I come away with.

 I listen intently to the auctioneer; “This is one of Mrs. C’s red ribbon quilts. She has been entering her quilts in our local fairs, and The Royal Winter Fair in Toronto for over sixty years.”
 “Look at that workmanship.”

“This dresser was made buy a local cabinet maker in 1855 it was special ordered by the C family.” “The mill where it was made still stands on the bank of that creek”

 “These dishes were used to entertain local farmers, and politicians.”

I love this; I am never bored at an auction. The commentary keeps me wanting more. It is a true classroom. We can learn so much; what things were used for, how they were made, and the history of the people who used them.

 I watch, and listen, every article seems to have a story. This makes the auction go on for hours, and hours, these are the auctions I love the most. It is well worth the trip, and the time.

 I did not buy anything at this auction but I did not come home empty handed; I came home with a wealth of free information and a great respect for our past.



  1. It is years since I have been to an action.
    Lack of funds to spend has kept me away. I do enjoying seeing one through your eyes though.

  2. I love all the items you photographed! I want to see and know more :-). I've never been to an auction as they are not very popular in the city. I do want to go to a estate sale, but I'm always afraid I'll come out broke!

    Thanks for letting us see and find out more about the history of this family.

  3. I agree with you. Auctions give us not only entertainment and the opportunity to meet interesting people, but also the chance to learn about our heritage.

  4.'s awesome what you "take away" from these auctions, that you are able to remember all the details.

    i almost wet my pants over the carriage and the piano. i super thrill just to see the pictures!!

    have a beautiful weekend!!!!

  5. How delightful B! What a trove of treasures you photographed and in my eyes, that's better than owning all of them. I love the cabinet makers mark on the bottom of that cabinet, what fortunate for the owner to know where it was made. I hope I have the chance to attend one such as this some day. There aren't any like that in my neck of the woods, that I know of anyways!

  6. That is quite a group of great stuff. I love that dresser.

  7. oh, that is neat. i'd have been tempted by that old sewing machine, though!

  8. Mmmmm those beautiful quilts and crockery!
    It's always a tiny bit sad seeing peoples' possessions laid out in public display. However, that's how it goes... they can 'live on' and be enjoyed by other persons.
    The local anecdotes would really add a more meaningful touch to the auction.

  9. I am so sentimental...I even want to buy things because of their story...even if I don't know the family! Could put the hurting on the pocketbook if I'm not careful! :)

  10. I love farm auctions. They don't have them often here as most of the farms have been sold off to developers.

    I saw several things in your pictures that I'd have been tempted to buy. The dresser and the sewing machine would have been very tempting.

  11. greetings from the Amish community of Lebanon,Pa. Richard from Amish Stories.

  12. Amazing bits of history. I would have been pleased to have carried any of those pieces home.

  13. A lot of beautiful history for certain. You came away with some very valuable info and photos. The sewing machine in the last photo must have been made a lot of neighbors jealous when it came to its new home.

  14. Tractors and guitars
    And old metal trucks
    Antlers on a beam
    And an old Singer sewing machine
    Rusty wire, held up by a nail
    Sections and sickles
    And an old milk pail
    Baking tins, a flour box
    A dozen jars (well, one is lost)
    Bent tools, broken parts
    An Edison type fuse
    Fancy plates and silverware
    Things not often used
    As The light comes over
    Like a breaking dawn
    Things that pass on a frontier farm

    Second hand clothes
    An old barn cat
    In an old iron pile
    Lays a broke pump jack
    Water thats hard (they own nothing soft)
    They live alone
    Far away
    Call before you leave
    You might get lost
    Cupboards so worn
    Their fat at the hinge
    A gate so tight
    you'll never get in
    As the light comes over
    Like a breaking dawn
    Things that pass on a frontier farm
    By my brother: Jim Gregg

  15. i agree with you. i love rummaging though other people's old memories. i would've had to bid on the conductor's cap for my father-in-law, the train collector.

  16. I haven't been to an auction is quiet a while...they are so much fun but we don't have that many around here.

  17. Lucky you...we just don't have those kind of auctions in Az...those dishes probably would have come home with me along with the quilts...

  18. Great goods & chattels. Lovely to see what you have to look at your side of the world. Great things at sales :)
    Love m xxx


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

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