The Washington Times-Herald

February 5, 2014

Black Buggy ready to ride into sunset

By Lindsay Owens Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald

---- — Those looking to own a piece of local history will get their chance Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. when the contents of the former Black Buggy complex are auctioned off.

Local auctioneer Mark Graber and his crew have been busy this week preparing for the auction.

“A lot of people don’t realize the work that goes into preparing for an auction,” said Graber, as he walked around the former buffet restaurant. “We’ll have the small items all boxed up and ready to go but we have a lot of large items we’ll be selling too.”

Everything from the salt and pepper shakers that once adorned the tables to the fencing and other outdoor decor will go to the highest bidder. “We are selling everything that anyone could want,” said Graber.

In fact, Graber said some of the items that seem to have the drawn most interest are the large buffalo and Holstein cow statues located near Yoder’s Furniture. “We also had a lady contact us about the possibility of buying a brick off the building,” Graber said.

Some of the other items on the auction block include a windmill, ice cream machine, ice machine, 40 gallon gas deep fryer, walk-in freezers and coolers, steam tables, a pressure deep fryer, oak booths and tables, vegetable slicers and an upright bakers aid rotisserie that can bake up to 100 loaves of bread at a time.

“There’s hundreds of shelves, plates, and pieces of cookware too,” said Graber. “Sinks, cabinets, soap dispensers, everything in the building is being sold.”

The building that once housed the Black Buggy General Store is jam packed with coffee pots, lanterns, griddles tables and other more portable items as well. “We tried to put a lot of the items over in this building because there’s more room for the buyers. But the restaurant building has a lot of larger items, like the ovens and buffet lines in it still,” he said.

Because some of the larger items will have to be uninstalled from the buildings, Graber said buyers will have a week to remove purchases from the premises before the property, owned by German American Bank, is demolished.

“We’re really honored to have been chosen by German American to do the auction,” said Graber.

Drawing interest from all over the state, Graber said he expects a good crowd Saturday.

“We had a guy from Muncie who will be coming down,” said Graber. Saturday’s trip to Daviess County will be the second one in a week for the interested buyer. “He actually came down last week for the auction but he’s going to make the trip again.”

Graber, who has been conducting auctions since 1994, said he hopes to have two rings going to keep the auction as short as possible. “We hope to be done around noon,” he said. “But we will have Cornerstone Christian there serving lunch as well.”

Started in 1996, in its heyday the Black Buggy drew crowds from all around. The business was abruptly closed in August of 2011 and reports swirled around the tri-state area that the famed Amish restaurant owed back taxes.