The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

April 21, 2013

Nautical auction draws large crowd to Ashtabula

Star Beacon

ASHTABULA — Freezing temperatures didn’t scare off serious customers at an auction featuring nautical items on Saturday morning.

Barry Densmore, who handled the estate auction of Capt. Richard Gowan and his wife, Barbara, said the weather insured only the serious buyer was in attendance.

“The only people that were there were buying,” said Densmore. He said 185 people attended the auction.

Densmore began reviewing items for sale at 10 a.m. and started the bidding at around 11 a.m. The estate auction drew people from as far away as Mentor-on-the-Lake. He said the average estate auction at his Madison showroom averages 285 people, but sometimes people are just watching and talking with friends.

John Hayes, of Ashtabula, said he came to the auction to check out the antiques. “Hopefully we can find something we can’t live without,” he said.

“I’ve liked these since I was young,” Hayes said of the antiques after joking that he liked antiques because he is old.

Virginia Meivoger, of Mentor-on-the-Lake, accompanied her husband to the auction. She said he loves clocks and was hoping to find something special.

“We had 10,000 hits on our website,” Densmore said of the auction that featured a variety of items including a Rolls Royce. The car had a minimum bid of $32,000 and did not sell, he said.

Densmore said one of the most interesting items was a “voice pipe” that connected the engine room and the wheelhouse before electronic communication devices.

“It was like two tin cans connected by a string,” he said.

“There were about seven lanterns and they were original off ships,” Densmore said.

“The sale did about $35,000,” he said.

Densmore said most people stayed until the end of the auction at 3:30 p.m.