Local auction 

Museum founder sells Hopalong Cassidy memorabilia at auction


A commitment made more than five years ago when Cambridge firefighters rescued a statue of Hopalong Cassidy from a fire-ravaged museum will be honored when Laura Bates auction off her “Hoppy” memorabilia.

Bates said at the time of the Hopalong Cassidy Museum fire in 2016 that if she ever sold the six-foot statue of William Boyd, also known as the Hopalong Cassidy, she would donate the proceeds to the Cambridge Fire Department. . Boyd lived in Cambridge as a child and would go on to become an actor who played Hopalong Cassidy in Western films.

“They saved it and I told myself, my family and Chief Jeff Deeks at the time, that I would donate the proceeds from the sale of the statue, if I ever sold it, to the department,” said Bates. “I would like him to raise at least $ 3,000 for the fire department.

Deeks said the proceeds could be used to purchase equipment for firefighters or to meet other needs of the Gaston Avenue Fire Department.

“We are very grateful,” Deeks said. “Laura doesn’t have to do this, but we’re very grateful for what she’s doing. Everything will definitely help the department.”

Cambridge firefighters, left to right, engineer Scott Elliot, Paul Gabel and Paul Hill move a statue of William Boyd to the Carol Goff Auction House, where it will be sold on Saturday.  The profits from the sale of the statue will be donated to the firefighters.  Firefighters rescued the statue of the former Cambridge resident who played Hopalong Cassidy in Western films from a fire at the Hopalong Cassidy Museum.

The papier-mâché statue was created by Red Moore of Arkansas and brought to the 1998 festival where she and a similar figure of Roy Rogers were sold to a collector in Cambridge.

The Hoppy figure was then purchased for the museum.

Bates decided to sell his collection for two reasons.

“I’ll be 88 in December and I’m lucky to have most of my mind, so I thought it was time to start downsizing a bit,” Bates said. “And, I need to share what I have with the rest of the world.”

The auction, which begins Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at Carol Goff’s auction house, 648 Wheeling Ave., will also include other museum items from Bates’ 30-year collection of research materials related to William Boyd.

Many photos of Hollywood guests who attended the annual Hopalong Cassidy Festival in Cambridge will be included in the auction led by Colonel James Rogers and his son, Stephen Rogers.

Additional information about the auction is available at www.auctionzip.com/Listings/3580328.html

The Hopalong Cassidy Museum

Bates is credited with being the founder of the Hopalong Cassidy Museum, the local fan club and the festival.

The idea of ​​starting the Hopalong Cassidy festival which eventually led to the Cambridge Museum was first pioneered by Bates over 31 years ago following a spring festival hosted by downtown merchants. .

“It was during an evaluation after the spring festival in 1990 that people asked what we could do next year, and I said how about a Hopalong Cassidy festival,” said Bates. “They asked him why, and I told them he lived here and went to school here, so why not.”

The Hopalong Cassidy Festival began in 1991 and continued for 25 years.

While Bates first pitched the idea, she admits that the inspiration came from a New York resident she interviewed for her show “Two About Town” on Channel 2 television from mid to mid-summer. late 1980s.

“She told me the whole William Boyd story and told me it was a shame that no one in her hometown did anything to celebrate it,” Bates said. “Here, I got hit in the face by someone from the Big Apple with it. It gnawed at me until 1990, when I finally said something about a Hopalong Cassidy festival.”

The idea for the interview with the New York resident came after the woman visited the Guernsey District Public Library in Cambridge.

Bates said she started researching Boyd in 1990 and then met a man from Connecticut who wrote a book on Boyd, born in Hendrysburg in western Belmont County in 1895.

He then moved to Cambridge where he attended Park School for seven years.

After a visit to Cambridge and Hendrysburg, the author encouraged Bates to contact other Hoppy fans as part of an effort to honor the man who fulfilled his dream of being a cowboy in the movies.

“I ran polls and 46 people responded,” Bates said of a newsletter that would become part of the local fan club. “The first edition was printed by The Daily Jeffersonian in March 1991.”

Each newsletter would reach over 500 readers at most, Bates said.

Visitors to the Hopalong Cassidy Festival are said to have come from 48 states, Canada and Germany over the years.

“People would come here and think Cambridge is one of the best things that has happened,” Bates said.

The fire of September 3, 2016 would mark the end of the museum.

Bates is credited with being the founder of the Hopalong Cassidy Museum, the local fan club and the festival.


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