The timing may seem odd, but as more and more auctions happen online, the Woody Auction family is preparing to debut a new 5,000-square-foot auction house next to their original one in Douglass.
“We know that as long as we’re selling quality merchandise, people will come,” Jason Woody says.
His parents started the business more than half a century ago, and much of the time the family has traveled the country to hold auctions elsewhere.
They’ve held them at farmhouses in the middle of Iowa cornfields and down lonely dirt roads in Oklahoma.
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“We’ve had them in some very strange places,” Woody says.
Then, he says, “It just became evident that auctions are changing.”
People would stay home and bid online.
“But it’s still nice to have a facility,” Woody says. “It’s something my family has talked about ever since I can remember.”
For years, they’ve operated an office in a converted 1800s school house that they moved to 317 S. Forrest in Douglass.
The first time the family opened their own facility for auctions was in 2015. They renovated a former grocery store at 120 E. Third St. in Douglass.
“We have outgrown that,” Woody says.
So they built a new building “just right next door” at 130 E. Third St.
What Woody is calling the grand opening auction for the building will be Feb. 24. There are almost 500 antique and fine art items in the auction, but the stars of the auction will be several paintings by Swedish-born Kansas painter Birger Sandzen.
“I actually spent nearly a year finding the items to … have in that particular auction,” Woody says. “We developed a real nice auction based around those paintings.”
The original auction house next door will be used to prep for this and other auctions.
Woody says the extra space the business now has will give it more options on what it can auction.
“We wanted something pleasant (and) appealing, and that’s what we built,” he says.
Woody says there are options if the business needs even more room in the future, but he says he doesn’t expect that any time soon.
“This will last us for quite a while.”