If you’re looking to get your hands on a piece of history from the November 2008 Pulaski train station fire, Thursday is your chance.
Nearly 850 items being removed from the collection salvaged from the Raymond F. Ratcliffe Museum go up for auction Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m. at 4797 Wurno Road.
Tuesday night, Pulaski Town Council approved the final list of items to be sold either because they do not have a significant connection to Pulaski history or because the cost to have them cleaned or restored surpasses their historic or monetary value.
Pulaski Economic Development Director John White said the O’Connell International Arts staff assisting with the evaluation of museum items, is suggesting a net claim amount of $3,410 for textile items and a claim of $37,544 for three-dimensional items. OIA estimated treatment cost for the textiles to be $99,573 and $190,312 for the three-dimensional items.
As for two-dimensional paper items, OIA has yet to offer a net claim amount. White said it is the opinion of the OIA team that 538 of these items do not warrant further treatment in an attempt to salvage them.
“It is clear from the conservator’s assessment that items “saved” from the Nov. 17, 2008 fire, despite our best efforts to the contrary, have undergone such a trauma that many will never return to public display,” White said. “The treatment costs are too high for the town to manage.”
Former Councilman Larry Clevinger II, who is on the museum committee appointed to determine which items to retain and which to remove from the collection, said that while some of the items to be sold are fire or smoke damaged, some people may be interested in obtaining something to commemorate the fire itself.
All proceeds from the auction will go toward construction of the new Raymond F. Ratcliffe Memorial Museum, next to the Maple Shade Shopping Center.
Local auctioneer Ken Farmer, perhaps best known for being an appraiser on the popular PBS series “Antiques Roadshow,” has volunteered to conduct Thursday’s auction.
Some of the items to be auctioned include:
• wooden ladder-back chair and desk from Pulaski Courthouse;
• mannequins, detached parts and metal stands;
• painted relief of railroad porter holding baggage with train behind, previously owned by Raymond F. Ratcliffe;
• postcard printer in case;
• tri-legged flag stand;
• ice skates;
• laminated copies of The Southwest Times, some water and smoke damaged, others not damaged;
• Lionel model railroad station;
• early 1900s corn sheller;
• electric and oil lanterns from railroad;
• electric insulators;
• Pabst Blue Ribbon advertising tray;
• Atlantic Ale Beer advertising sign;
• paper on wood plaque in memory of Captain Cleburne, requested he be buried where he fell. Died May 10, 1864 In the Battle of Cloyds Farm, Near Dublin
• remnants of three O gauge Lionel model trains charred by fire;
• roll of typewriter ribbon in plastic case. Sold by Cruze Typewriter Company, 236 Third St., Pulaski;
• wooden flat-top trunk with metal trim and decorative hardware;
• small children’s washboard and washtub with metal ringer;
• wooden wall rack with display of advertising matchbooks from early Pulaski businesses, including Martin’s Shoe Store, Washington Café and The Peoples National Bank;
• wicker toy baby carriage and other child’s toys used by Colleen Seagle;
• 1963 Pulaski car license plate;
• painting representation of Jefferson School in Pulaski;
• March 15, 1912 edition of the Roanoke Times with article about the Hillsville courthouse murders;
• wood cook stove, black with grey accents that belonged to Mrs. Thompson in Pulaski;
• medical equipment from Pulaski Hospital, including heart monitoring/EKG machine – Medcoloator – Model G;
• Pulaski Community Hospital Outstanding Community Contribution plaque dated 1985-1986, presented by The New River Valley Community Services Board;
• plaque with names of the Dr Thomas F. First Humanitarian Award Winners. 18 brass name plates indicating names of individuals;
• visiting hours and other signs from the Pulaski Hospital, some mounted to wooden stands;
• oak telephone booth with bi-fold door from Pulaski Hospital;
• black leather doctors bag with related tools used by Dr. Smith in Pulaski;
• vision machine used by Dr. Smith;
• moveable type of various fonts and sizes from Pulaski High School;
• Keepsake reproduction ice box from Pulaski Furniture Company;
• Boy Scout, military and sports items;
• wide variety of clothing and other textile items;
• indoor Coca Cola advertising sign that was displayed in the Number One Drugstore in Pulaski;
• array of model train items;
• wide array of photographs, photograph reprints, postcards and other ephemera way too numerous to list.