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Donald "Pete" Slates' property suggests the former Carroll County business operator has developed a taste for just about everything.
There are antique school-house desks, farm tractors that date back decades, old-fashioned train lanterns, pieces of porcelain, countless fishing lures, a rack of firearms and horse-drawn buggies and carriages that predate the automobile.
In about a week, the general public will be offered the opportunity to acquire some of Slates' varied collection through a bid-and-buy auction.
Slates operated a sewer-servicing company called Slates Sanitary Service & Porta-Jons. Through his career he visited many homes and saw items that caught his interest.
"I have been collecting for over 65 years," Slates said. "I got into a lot of homes. I went in to clean sewers. I have been collecting all my life. That is what I liked to do. I am going to be 89 years old in July. And I don't need to keep any of it."
The two-day auction will begin at 10 a.m. on both June 13 and June 14.
Kiko Auctioneers & Realtors is handling the sale, which will be at Slates' home in the 6200 block of Germano Road SE in Carroll County's Loudon Township, about 7 miles southeast of Carrollton.
Two auction crews
Selling off the goods will require a large-scale production.
"We will have two auction crews going at the same time," said Joseph Gordon, the Kiko auctioneer handling the sale.
PHOTO GALLERY: Donald "Pete" Slates Auction - June 13
"We really don't have an ending time. It could last six hours, it could last eight hours. He collected for his lifetime. It was his enjoyment. Now he wants other people to buy things out of this and enjoy things as much as he has. This is a large collection. He set it all up pretty much like a museum."
Slates stored the items in an orderly fashion with like commodities displayed together. For instance, the polished red International Harvester McCormick-Deering tractors are showcased in one cluster.
"It is shame they are sitting in here," Slates said. "They ought to be out working."
Once filled with gasoline and motor oil, and with a little mechanical attention, Slates and Gordon said the tractors could function.
"These would be collector tractors," Gordon said. "Like people collect cars, people collect tractors, too. They are different size tractors, different horse power."
Porcelain items are kept in their own area. The collection of old elementary school desks even includes seated mannequins. The desks, Slates said, came from a former elementary school that once stood in southeastern Carroll County.
Slates has a son and daughter. He said neither is interested in taking over his collection.
Everything must go
Gordon had no projection or estimate on how much the auction will raise.
"We don't get into that," Gordon said. "The public is pretty much going to tell us what everything is worth. This is an absolute sale. That means everything sells regardless of price."
Some of the items, such as firearms, fishing lures, duck-hunting decoys and jewelry, have some practical use for some auction buyers. Much of the merchandise, such as old gasoline station advertising signs and antique cash registers, represent a bygone era.
"It will all sell," Gordon said. "This is a little bit different. There is a little bit of everything here. It will be simulcast. It will be live and online (bidding) at the same for only about 84, 85 items."
The array of items Slates has put on display is so wide there is hardly a single classification for it. The range goes from agricultural equipment, to hunting and fishing gear, antique industrial tools and old-fashioned features of commerce, such as old slot machines.
"You know what they say, 'Don't put all your eggs in one basket,'" Slates said, explaining why he wound up with such a wide range of collectible items. "I bought a little of everything."