Grant County couple amass huge assortment of antiques | Information from the three states


MOUNT HOPE, Wisconsin. – Accumulating antiques reminds Bob and Sharon Wooden of their childhood when many households, together with theirs, have been briefly provide.

Now their farm is filled with them, a byproduct of many years of auctions, flea markets and storage gross sales.

“It is what you do once you grow old,” stated Sharon, 74. “Uh – older.”

Instruments and equipment dangle from the partitions and muddle the ground house of three metal sheds: scythes from a time when employees minimize stalks of grain by hand to make oxen when plows have been pulled by plows. draft animals to the primary trendy diesel tractors.

Their newest acquisitions have brought about a sensation amongst vintage sellers in Ohio.

Whereas pushing the web, Bob, 78, noticed a nineteenth century hay rake and vintage mower throughout an actual property sale. He purchased each for $ 1,000 final March.

The hay rakes of the day lifted and deposited minimize grass in rows, the place it might dry earlier than being baled or rolled.

The woodcutter is made up of a steel slide, the entrance of which is connected to a toothed sickle that swayed as horses pulled it by means of the fields.

When slicing, a set of rotating reels, to which tines have been connected, threw the hay into rows, which the farmers later gathered by hand.

The Woods, each retired farmers, needed to know extra concerning the historical past of their machines, however the expertise that drives the instruments fell out of order way back, leaving few alive with data about their operation.

They contacted the employees of “Farm Collector” and “Vintage Energy” magazines. Among the many responses they obtained was a survey from the chief director of the Springfield (Ohio) Historic Society, who expressed curiosity in exhibiting the gadgets at an area museum.

“We’re delighted,” stated Dan Hearlihy. “I have been researching one among these models for about 15 years.”

The mix, the precursor to the fashionable mix, was manufactured by Champion, a Springfield firm later bought by a predecessor of the Worldwide Harvester Firm. The rake, alternatively, was manufactured by Chambers, Bering & Quinlan Co., of Decatur, In poor health.

A number of months later, Bob determined to donate the machines to the museum and they are going to be shipped this spring.

“Different individuals will be capable to see them,” stated Bob. “It makes me really feel good.”


The 2 additions are only one iota of Bob’s relics.

He began amassing Winchester rifles and instruments over 25 years in the past, earlier than transferring on to tractors of all scales.

Seventeen life-size fashions are caught like puzzle items within the storage sheds. The oldest, a superb John Deere emerald, dates from 1939.

Bob lends autos which are nonetheless operational for tractor rides and parades.

Tucked in a nook behind two trailers stuffed with pedal tractors and vehicles is a wood circus wagon that the woods found at an public sale.

Final yr, Sharon meant to get Bob inside and haul him by means of city utilizing a tractor in the course of the Mount Hope Dairy Days Parade, which organizers finally canceled.

“COVID saved him,” she says.

Of their basement, Bob lined wall cabinets with a minimum of 100 farm toys to gather. Some are stacked at waist peak on the ground.

He does not know why he likes to accumulate them.

“He is at all times been a John Deere man, let’s put it that means,” Sharon stated.

The Woods additionally amassed an assortment of different antiques: a pump vacuum, leggings and a lasso belonging to Billy Buschbaum, a well-known rodeo sportsman.

Pictures of their 4 smiling grandchildren sit on bookcases and a former secretary of their workplace.

Close by, a 500-pound plush black bear stands on high of a pile of stones. Bob shot it in Clam Lake, in northern Wisconsin, the place the household owns a share of the Canine City camp.

For 9 years, the house owners have hosted younger individuals with critical sicknesses or disabilities for an annual bear hunt, an occasion hosted by the United Particular Sportsman Alliance.

“Every of those youngsters shot their very own bear,” stated Sharon. “It is simply phenomenal. You simply cry.


The Woods had little private belongings in Mount Hope, however Sharon stated many households in southwestern Wisconsin did on the time.

“We did not know what we did not have,” she stated. “You get pleasure from issues extra.”

Sharon and Bob lived off one another, nevertheless it wasn’t till she was in highschool that they began courting.

“I inform everybody that once I began farming I wanted somebody to cook dinner and wash,” Bob stated cheerfully. “So I took the very first thing that occurred and it got here with its personal pots and pans!”

They just lately celebrated their fifty fifth marriage ceremony anniversary.

“All the time tales,” she stated.

They raised a son and a daughter, each of whom labored on the farm, even at college.

Their kids’s closing activity will likely be determining easy methods to deal with their mother and father’ assortment of antiques, particularly toys.

“I suppose we’ll depart them to the youngsters and that will likely be their headache,” Bob says, laughing.

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