Museum will be open for its final season from Memorial Day through Labor Day
By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, MN A caboose, telegraph, and real box cars and railroad crossings are among the numerous items that will be placed on the auction block in the fall at the Old Depot Museum in Dassel. To see a copy of the auction bill, click here.
“I just think it’s time,” owner Howard Page said, who has mixed feelings about selling the thousands of items he has collected throughout the years.
Though the auction is not scheduled until Thursday, Sept. 16, the auctioneers are already preparing for the four-day event by photographing and cataloging all the items.
The auctioneers who are partnering for the sale are Benoit Auction Service of Dassel and Mangold Auction Service out of Wickenburg, AZ.
Page met O.C. Mangold at an auction he was conducting in Arizona. The auction included railroad collectibles.
Page told Mangold he was from Dassel and the conversation continued.
Mangold asked Page if he knew “Beno,” another name for Duane Benoit. It turned out that Benoit and Mangold, who is originally from Worthington, went to auction school together in Mason City, IA in 1971.
Mangold and his wife, Joani, have auctioned for a number of museums and items of historical significance including the recent sale of Doc Holliday’s handbag.
Mangold describes his work as “history passing to the four winds,” which is what he hopes to do with the depot auction.
“[The depot] has history from all over the world,” Mangold said, with some of Page’s items coming from China, Italy, Austria, and England.
The goal of the auction, which is scheduled for Sept. 16-19, is to make it as comfortable for the guests as possible, according to Benoit. This could include a large screen for photographs and videos of items up for auction.
“It’s bittersweet,” said Benoit, about auctioning off one of Dassel’s landmarks.
“I’m sorry to see it go, but just thrilled to have it here and happy for the sellers who can do something else and follow another dream,” Benoit added.
As a real estate investor, Page purchased Cokato’s former Great Northern Depot in 1985. It was cut in half and the two pieces were then hauled to its current location along Highway 12 in Dassel.
At first, Page didn’t have a goal in mind, but then he started buying a few items to make it look more like the depot it was.
It started growing from there, and now there are thousands of railroad collectibles in his collection including a caboose and two box cars, among the larger items.
Other items in the collection to be auctioned will be railroad photos, vintage sheet music, tickets, luggage, trunks, bells, whistles, baggage carts, lanterns, uniforms, signals, and much more, many from around the area. For example, there is a desk and ticket booth from Delano that will both be auctioned.
The depot, itself, will be advertised for rent.
Many of the items will be ready for viewing and bidding online at www.mangoldauctionservice.com.
For those who have yet to stroll through the museum, there is still time to do so.
The museum will be open for its regular season from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Its hours are daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $2.50 for adults, and $1 for children under 12.