Struggling Pennsylvania capital auctions Wild West artifacts

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:29pm EDT

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HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Thousands of artifacts from the Wild West era were sold off during a week-long public auction by authorities in Pennsylvania's financially distressed state capital, ending on Sunday with nearly $4 million in sales.

A dentist chair used by famed gambler, gunfighter and dentist John Henry "Doc" Holliday and a foot locker built for sharpshooter Annie Oakley were among the items sold by Harrisburg's government at the auction, which was handled by Guernsey's of New York City.

The items were amassed by former Harrisburg Mayor Stephen Reed using millions of dollars of public funds to stock a proposed Wild West museum that never opened to the public.

"There were skeptics who didn't believe they'd get that much," Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey's, said of the more than $3.9 million raised through the auction.

"It's not going to save the city, but it's a good amount and hopefully it's enough to settle some debt," Ettinger said.

City officials have not announced any specific plans for the money.

Harrisburg is burdened with more than $300 million in debt, much of which stems from a failed incinerator project.

(Editing by Tom Brown and Paul Simao)

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Comments (32)
jhoover wrote:
I’m assuming former Harrisburg Mayor Stephen Reed is currently imprisoned? That or in an insane asylum.

Jul 21, 2013 9:56pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Silmaril wrote:
All the bastions of liberalism are on the verge of bankruptcy.
The public sector unions have created 9 Billion dollars of unfunded liability for Detroit
Thank you libs for showing us what you will do to the rest of the nation in time.
Liberalism is truly a mental disorder.

John Galt Take Me With You . com

Jul 21, 2013 10:29pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
a_Collector wrote:
They would certainly have reached a much higher sales figure had that collection not been absolutely riddled with fakes, reproductions, and outright fantasy items. If the collection was donated originally, that’s one thing. But if public funds were spent acquiring these – ahem – ‘artifacts’, then holy cats! Whoever was behind that shopping spree was either incredibly naive and gullible, or something else (that should not be stated publicly until there is enough evidence to take a case to court.)

Jul 21, 2013 10:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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