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Wednesday auction aims at liquidating Brooksville's landmark Christmas House

BROOKSVILLE — Looking for a 9-foot white Christmas tree decorated in pewter-colored ornaments? How about a dozen pairs of snowflake salt and pepper shakers? Or perhaps a giant plastic laughing Santa?

Those are among hundreds of items up for grabs today at the auction that will liquidate the remaining pieces of Brooksville's landmark Rogers' Christmas House Village.

According to Christmas House operator George Rodriguez, most of the good stuff is gone, picked over by throngs of bargain hunters who flooded the store's clearance sale over the weekend. But some real finds still remain, Rodriguez said.

"It's all got to go," Rodriguez said Tuesday as he riffled through the attic of the Magnolia House, which served as a storage room for store furnishings. Among the items he came up with was a 1970s vintage cash register that was retired when the business computerized its operation a decade ago.

"I can't tell you how many thousands of sales I rung up on it," he said. "It still works as far as I know."

Rodriguez estimated that more than 2,000 people attended the weekend clearance sale. And though most sales were for smaller, inexpensive items such as toys and stuffed animals, larger items such as artificial Christmas trees, wreaths and collectible decorations also sold well, he said.

Among the more popular items were the red and green shopping baskets that had been part of the Christmas House shopping tradition for much of its 37 years, until the business fell on difficult times in recent years after the death of founder Margaret "Weenie" Ghiotto Rogers.

"I think we sold about 300 of them," Rodriguez said. "People said they wanted them for a keepsake."

Today's auction, which is open to the public, is being conducted by Dudley's Auction & Estate. It will begin with a preview at 9 a.m., followed by the auction at 10. Remaining new and unsold merchandise will be sold in lots. Other items, such as furnishings, will be sold individually.

Logan Neill can be reached at lneill@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1435.

Fast facts

Christmas in May

Today's liquidation auction at Rogers' Christmas House Village begins at 10 a.m. The preview is at 9 a.m. The Christmas House is at 103 S Saxon Ave., on the east edge of downtown Brooksville. Additional information about the auction can be found on the website for Dudley's Auction & Estate: www.dudleysauction.com.

Wednesday auction aims at liquidating Brooksville's landmark Christmas House 05/25/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 8:10pm]
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