Miller Auction in Richlands: No Ordinary Event
|by Frank Kilgore|
In the old Sears building across from the Richlands High School, a special event occurs on the first and third Saturday of each month. Hundreds of people show up at Miller’s Auction House where Cedar Bluff and Richlands meet, but no one seems to mind which town they are in when the gavel bangs out the winning bid.
Miller Auction runs the largest auction show in far Southwest Virginia. Steve Miller, his wife Connie, their son Jakob and his new bride Lindsey, and daughter Rebekah and her husband David Boone keep things hopping. Other family members and friends set up the large items, antiques, coin displays, jewelry case, and glassware table, then hang everything else on the walls, from Persian rugs to framed prints, guns, fishing poles, and pitchforks.
Strapping mountain boys- namely Jake, Aaron, David, and anyone else willing and able to give a hand and strong back- lift up items for the crowd to admire, from a small pendant to a four-hundred-pound piece of furniture.
There is an air of friendship all around the big room. Friends and neighbors meet and new customers drive for hundreds of miles to bid on that one-of-a-kind gun, antique lamp, primitive blanket chest, or pie safe. The sales on the third Saturday of each month at 5 pm hawk used furniture, appliances, box lots, heaters, coolers, stoves, books, tapes, and tools.
The first Saturday of the month at 5 pm is when folks dress up a mite and make a night of it. That is when the very best antiques and unusual items come out. Country-cooked food is sold by non-profit groups to raise money for school events and other worthy causes. Meat and potatoes, hot dogs and hamburgers, home-baked pies and cakes, and ice-cold drinks make for food and fun as the bidding drama unfolds.
Once two or more devout bidders knock heads over a particular item the air is filled with suspense. Finally the bidding slows, then stops, and the gavel rings out another of hundreds of fast-paced sales for the night. Most recently the auction house has added drug seizure sales to its lineup. The results have been very impressive.
This is something you don’t want to miss.