There was parking farther down 10 Sideroad, at a neighbouring farm, for the big auction at Bill Vernon’s barn on Saturday. Vehicles were also parked along Line 9, for almost half a kilometre, as potential buyers began to arrive.
After a lifetime of collecting vintage tractors, farm equipment and engines, Vernon decided that it was time to downsize – to clear the yards and the barn, and give others an opportunity to own some of the pieces of agricultural history that he had amassed.
Vernon, who has been a member of the Georgian Bay Steam, Auto, Gas and Antique Association for 50 years, called in auctioneer Bob Severn to direct the bidding on everything from gardening tools and chainsaws, to an antique threshing machine, vintage tractors, and a fire truck.
As bidders arrived, the Bond Head Lions cooked up breakfast and lunch, of burgers, sausages, coffee and butter tarts.
“It’s sad, in a way,” said Vernon, who watched the action as Severn, wearing his signature Stetson, encouraged the bidding. “I can’t believe it’s happening.”
Vernon chatted with old friends, neighbours and fellow-collectors, and helped start up a 1945 McCormick-Deering WD9, that was a little damp after the previous night’s torrential rainfall.
“At least there’s a good turnout,” he said, as the skies cleared for the auction.
And he was quick to emphasize: the auction doesn't mean that he and wife Brenda have any plans to move. “We’re just downsizing,” Vernon said.