MONROE EVENING NEWS
May 22, 2008 - Evening News photo by DEAN COUSINO
Scott Adkins, Brian Adkins and auctioneer Kenny Lindsay (from left) assemble an antique wagon wheel at the Rustic Village Museum in Waltz. The museum and a general store (building at far left), both made of logs, will be sold Saturday at the Adkins estate auction.
WALTZ - A big piece of history for the Village of Waltz will go on the auction block this Memorial Day weekend.
The Rustic Village, including the Adkins estate and a two-room schoolhouse dating back to 1885, will be sold to the highest bidder at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Adkins farm at 28480 Mineral Springs Rd. Three auctioneers led by Ken Lindsay will be working the five-acre site that includes two log cabins (a museum and general store), a 4,400-square-foot wooden barn and an 1,800-square-foot home where Frank Adkins has lived for the past 42 years. His wife, Nora, died last fall.
"We're selling it all," Mr. Adkins, 67, said this week. "I've had quadruple heart bypass, and I'm moving to Florida. ... This is too much for me to handle."
Mr. Adkins' two sons - Scott, 40, and Brian, 36 - and Brian's wife, Camille, are helping him prepare the buildings, about a half-dozen vehicles and hundreds of antiques and collectibles for the sale. Among the vehicles being sold: a 1931 Ford Model A, a 1963 red GMC fire truck with ladder, a red 1947 Crosley used in the movie "Porky's" and a light-green 1963 American Motors Co. Rambler owned by Mr. Adkins' grandparents.
The rustic buildings have been a historical landmark for years in this community located just north of Monroe County. The village was a main attraction at homecoming celebrations in nearby Joseph Waltz Park sponsored by the Waltz Improvement Association and Pioneer Days hosted by the Huron Township Historical Society.
In July, Mrs. Adkins and two colleagues traveled to Washington, D.C., to accept the Preserve America Award from first lady Laura Bush on behalf of the township. Both she and her husband and family maintained the buildings for more than four decades.
Also being sold is nearly two acres of undeveloped land just two parcels down the road from the Adkins home that holds the schoolhouse. The township historical commission has asked the township board to consider buying the two acres so the school building can be preserved. At a special meeting Wednesday afternoon, the board agreed to place a bid on the land. The amount of the bid, though, which was determined at a closed meeting, won't be disclosed until Saturday.
The schoolhouse was originally a one-room school. Scott Adkins, an association member, pointed to crevices on the outside of the soft sand brick where students on their lunch breaks poked holes with their fingers or baseball bats. In 1900, a second classroom was added to the north side of the building that was heated by a wood stove.
"Even rarer than a one-room school is a two-room school," Mr. Adkins noted.
"It's a handsome looking building," said Sandy Somers, chairman of the commission. "That's what it's all about - history. We could partner with Ash Township or other local governments to save this."
Mrs. Somers said the township could use the building for recreation, commercial or other purposes.
"We talked to them about the importance of saving historic buildings," Mrs. Somers said. "The opportunity is there. ... Let's work together and get historic and recreation grants. It could still be used for crafts, ballet or gymnastics."
Additional information and photos of the estate and auction is available by calling the American Eagle Auction & Appraisal Co. in Livonia at (248) 473-1547 or visiting www.MichiganAuctionNews.com.
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