History For Sale At SWAP

By: Dana Brueck
By: Dana Brueck

Spring signals the start of garage sale season. But few second-hand sales can compare to the one at Madison's SWAP Shop Saturday.

The remodeling of the State Capitol shut out old doors, globes and windows for good. But it opened up an opportunity for taxpayers like Cyndi Schaefer.

"We need doors for our house because it was built in 1902," she says.

Many of these items come from the early 1900's and Schaefer says, "it's kind of neat. We can tell a story of where this door came from."

And the Schaefers had plenty of company shopping.

"We had 129 people waiting to get in the door at 8 o'clock this morning," Bill Sutton of Surplus With A Purpose (SWAP) says.

All to get their hands deep in dust for a piece of state history, like a legislator's door or one that's leather bound.

"One person's actually having a restaurant and thought it would be a nice touch," Sutton says of the large doors.

"I think they will bid quite high."

Specialty items like the doors will sell in an auction online.

Sutton says all of the goods were stuck in storage at a cost to the state until now. "Every penny goes back to the State of Wisconsin," he says.

For instance, a window labeled "Gov Toilet" fetched $100.

The Schaefers say they found a bargain, paying $250 for their door and window. "We priced doors our size that we need, they're $1,000 or $2,000," Schaefer says.

Sutton expects the sale to bring in more than $10,000. The state's total return on the items will grow when the online auction closes later this month.

For more information on the auction go to www.bussvc.wisc.edu/swap

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