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  • Any model train enthusiast’s?

    And no I am not talking about NotASoonerFan!!!

    Railroad history up for sale

    When the University of Akron bought Quaker Square in 2007, a valuable hoard of railroad memorabilia came with it.

    Now collectors will have a chance to get their hands on some of it.

    UA will auction off tens of thousands of items divided into more than 1,300 lots Saturday at the former shopping and entertainment complex in downtown Akron.

    The train collection once was the heart of the complex that opened as a tourist mecca in 1975. The shops, restaurants and bars in the former oats factory were decorated with model trains and actual train equipment, plus memorabilia.

    ''When people come here, that's the first thing they ask: 'What happened to the trains?' '' said Mike Szczukowski, the UA materials handling director who is overseeing the sale.

    UA already has held two tag sales of Quaker Square hotel furniture, decorations and memorabilia, the last of which in June generated about $40,000, he said.

    Saturday's sale offers such one-of-a-kind items that UA decided to hold an auction.

    Auctioneer Paul Wingard will sell off the items from Quaker Square's basement via camera. As many as 1,000 bidders will watch the proceedings from first-floor cameras, Szczukowski said.

    Miniatures for sale

    The highlight probably will be the miniature railroad buildings, people and scenery made in the 1940s and 1950s by train enthusiast Mack Lowry, who moved his Railways of America Museum on State Road in Cuyahoga Falls to Quaker Square in 1976. His collection was billed as the largest model train display in the world.

    The collection was so vast that about half of it immediately went into storage in the 400,000-square-foot complex and never emerged.

    Lowry's widow eventually sold the collection to Quaker Square owner Jay Nusbaum, who in turn handed it over to UA.

    The sale also will include towel bars, pipe holders and storage racks from actual trains; six real-size luggage carts, some of them loaded with old suitcases; 20 leather-backed chairs from dining cars; round brass tables from dining cars; train artwork, magazines and advertising memorabilia; two mailbags; and old railroad tools.

    The auction will feature more than trains.

    Wingard also will auction off models and props handmade for a miniature circus, plus two big-top tents, amusement rides and a wide variety of miscellany.

    Akron rubber worker Robert W. Harned created the Greatest Little Show on Earth in the basement of his home starting in the mid-1920s, displayed it at stores and sold it to Lowry, who in turn moved it to Quaker Square.

    The auction won't spell the end of trains or the circus at Quaker Square. The university is maintaining displays of both in the museum next to the gift shop on the main floor. The auction pieces are all extra.

    More sales planned

    Nor is this the end of the UA sales. In coming months, the university will spotlight a trove of other Quaker Square memorabilia, from airplanes to stained glass to car parts, as it edges closer to turning the facility into classrooms. Part of the hotel already has been turned into a residence hall for students.

    For now, the focus is on clearing out the train and circus memorabilia. Interested bidders can preview the items for two hours beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday.

    Like items that will be sold as groups will be bundled together in clear plastic bags or displayed together on tables.

    For details, email UA retail manager Becky Pete at [email protected].

    Photos of all items are available at http://www.uakron.edu/aux/trainauction.dot.
    That was quite the place to go when I was a kid, sad to see it all go.
    It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.

  • #2
    Originally posted by DACP View Post
    And no I am not talking about NotASoonerFan!!!

    That was quite the place to go when I was a kid, sad to see it all go.
    HA!!!!!! and that's who I was going to recommend you reach out to
    "Corruptisima republica plurimae leges."

    "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."
    - Cornelius Tacitus


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