MARIETTA — The Junior Fair building at the Washington County Fairgrounds was packed with antiques and shoppers Sunday afternoon during the annual Pickers’ Auction run by Lowell’s Beardsley Auction Service LLC.
Since 2018, Beardsley auctioneers have been traveling the region and, in recent years, online, to help people add to their collections or resell items. Ryan Beardsley, owner and auctioneer, said Sunday’s auction usually had around 100 bidders. Before an auction, Beardsley Auction employees post photos of the items online, and Beardsley said sometimes people come to the event with a particular item in mind.
“We just like to bring the community to have a good time”, he said.
Marietta’s John Weddle provided the loot for people to watch and make offers. Beardsley said auctions typically last three or four hours.
“He could buy for 10 years and just put things in different trailers. Then all of a sudden it’s the right day and we’re going to make a sale,” Beardsley said.
People come over two hours away to watch the auction and sometimes bids reach $800 or $1,000 for hot items like old signs, logs or oil and gas memorabilia, some of the Weddle’s favorite collectibles.
“There are a lot of books on oil and gas. There are always oil and gas items here for sale. There are always milk bottles and local collectibles. We just like to take it all out and make it a big event,” Beardsley said.
Auctions were a family affair for Weddle and he said he grew up going to auctions and collecting. His father was an auctioneer with his grandfather and uncles.
“I was born and raised at auction. All the antique dealers would tell me to go to an auction, buy the best piece or two you can afford and keep it for years to come and that’s what I did. he said.
Weddle said he likes to see crowds of people hanging out, bidding on items, and likes “see the things they fight for.”
Chris Ford, who grew up in Washington County, came to the auction looking for items to resell. He said he likes to go to auctions to get low-priced items.
“I saw in the pictures from the auction that there were old phone parts and odds and ends, so I thought I’d come downstairs and see what they had.” he said.
Cory and Emma Rush made the trip from Zanesville for the auction and said they like to go there about once a month.
When people attend auctions, Beardsley said it’s a good community event and allows for friendly competition.
“An auction event is more of a community event. Several people have come to these auctions and they sit next to someone outbidding all day and in the end you get them once or twice and it kind of becomes their little thing where they kinda go crazy. At the end of the day, they’re good friends and they might even buy each other lunch. he said. “It’s a blast and we’re looking forward to each one we have.”
Candice Black can be contacted at [email protected]