In 17 years, Bill Brown, a former dairy farmer and diesel engine mechanic, amassed a large collection of dairy equipment that auctioneers have labeled as “world-class.”
Thousands of the dairy items will be auctioned off over a three-day period next weekend. The items include dozens of cream separators, butter churns, collectibles, creamer holders, collector’s signs and more.
Brown moved to Lewis County from Auburn in the early 1970s. He went on to own several dairy farms, including one located off state Route 507, just north of Schaefer Park and south of Bucoda.
After the death of his wife, Brown began collecting dairy items.
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Mary Garrison, of Garrison Auctioneers, said in her 25 years of experience, Brown’s is the largest dairy collection she has seen. The auctioneering company is responsible for the sale of Brown’s collection after he was moved into an assisted living facility.
The sale, which will run Friday-Sunday, will sell up to 500 lots a day, including rare items like a 25-gallon Red Wing Crockery equipped with lids.
Shortly after the collection was discovered, interest began brewing from collectors nationwide.
“The dairy community has been spectacular,” Garrison said. “It’s just amazing to enter that world for a while and see how much they love what they do.”
Garrison and her company have worked several months to categorize each item that filled Brown’s house, outdoor work areas, and a 30-foot outdoor container.
The auction will be held at the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds, 2555 N. National Ave., Chehalis. The Friday auction will begin at 4 p.m. and 300 lots will be auctioned off. On Saturday, the auction will begin at 10 a.m. and 500 lots will be auctioned off, while on Sunday 300 lots will be auctioned off starting at noon.
Tent camping is available for $23 a night. For more information on camping, call 360-740-1495. For information on the auction, go to garrisonauctioneers.com.