SIREN, Wisconsin - Farm auctions often double as social events in rural communities. But the three-day sale taking place this week on the farm west of Siren is bringing together the world.
The estate sale of Morris Blomgren -- who died last November in the same farm house in which he was born -- has been anticipated by collectors across the globe.
"There was hardly anything he didn't collect," said Janet Freeman, Blomgren's niece. "If he saw something and he found it interesting, he had to have it."
During his 92 years, Blomgren amassed a collection of antique farm equipment, vehicles, and assorted odds and ends that filled several sheds on his farm to the point "there was a couple of trails and you had to walk sideways," said Freeman.
"We've had calls from Australia, Ireland and Germany," said Sherry Houghton, whose family's company, Houghton Auction Service, is handling the sale. "It's a once in a lifetime.
Bill Dubats of Coon Rapids battled an internet bidder from Europe for a 1904 Schacht car that he finally scored with a $36,500 bid. How rare a find is such a vehicle? "The answer to that is probably, that's why I spent $12,000 dollars more than I planned," said a gleeful Dubats.
A five-man crew worked three weeks just to inventory Blomgren's collection. In all, more than 3000 items were sold during the three-day auction. Some tractors attracting six-figure bids.
Neighbor Doug Dewing said Blomgren used to talk about opening a museum, "but it was too much of a hassle." Instead he happily opened his shed doors for visitors who stopped by his farm.
"I think he's looking down and saying 'I guess this is okay, as long as somebody's going to enjoy it'", said Freeman.
Morris Blomgren spent his whole life on his Burnett county farm. Now his prized possessions are going to see the world.
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