CLARENCE, N.Y. (WIVB) – In Mike Igoe’s basement, you’ll find 40 years worth of general store memorabilia.
From Bing Crosy ice cream packs to a Woodruff and Edwards coffee grinder, his basement is truly a “one stop shop.” Now that he and his wife have decided to scale back, he said everything must go.
Igoe said, “Even the auctioneer himself doesn’t know how many pieces are here.”
Walking into Mike Igoe’s basement, is like taking a step back in time. Igoe said, “Think about it, how many people have a general store in their basement?”
For all of the hundreds of antique collectibles here, every one has a story. He said, “Before we had electric coffee grinders, somebody had to do it by hand!”
The collection started with a barber chair that he found it in the 80’s in Wilkes-Barre,Scranton, Pennsylvania. He said, “The reason I bought it, is because it was the same type of barber chair that I used to get my hair cut in as a kid. In fact, I especially like the piece with a booster seat, that a kid would sit on top of it. So this is where the general store really took off with the barber chair.”
From there, the collection just grew. A neighbor built the windows and signs in his basement, as Igoe hunted for the rare and obscure at flea markets across the country. He said, “People always ask me why a general store? And I really don’t have an answer to that. I know some people like Derek Jeter of the Yankees always wanted to be shortstop, I don’t know why, but I guess I was always interested.”
But now its time to cash in, on this piece of American history. The heirlooms and collectibles will all be sold in an online auction, for new collectors to buy and admire.
Igoe said, “Regardless of what you collect, it has a special meaning for you. For whatever reason you remember something as a child, or it has some connection to your life. Old memories of the general store will be going, “bye bye” hopefully to good homes.”
We spoke with Randy Moyer from Moyer auction who will handle Igoe’s online sales. He says this collection is very unusual and unique, and worth thousands of dollars. The bidding happens online starting Tuesday, you can see pictures of everything Igoe is selling. Head to the Moyer Auction website for more information, here.