, Newburyport, MA

July 29, 2013

Auction draws bidders for 'a piece of the town's history'

By Mac Cerullo
Staff Writer

---- — AMESBURY — A standing room only crowd of W.E. Fuller & Co.’s former customers and employees packed the store one last time on Thursday night as the shop’s remaining wares were sold off at auction.

More than 50 people came out to bid on the store’s furniture, fixtures, shelving, mannequins and artifacts, which were put up for sale by retiring store owner Ron Fuller and auctioned off on site by John McInnis Auctioneers.

John McInnis said everything that was up for auction sold, and most of the store’s wares wound up being purchased by local residents interested in obtaining their own piece of Amesbury history.

“It did really well for what was there,” McInnis said, noting that most of the items up for sale were mostly nostalgic items. “It was very well attended, and everybody had a really nice time.”

Overall, the 200 lots put up for bid combined to net several thousand dollars, and the item that sold for the highest price was a root wood table that went for $525.

Other high-selling items included the store’s large gold cash register, which went for $350, a smaller antique register for $375, a collection of five classic mannequins for $375 and the store’s display cases, which went for about $100 each.

McInnis said the auction lasted for about four hours, running from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m., and Fuller himself was in attendance to watch as the pieces of his family’s store each found new homes. McInnis said Fuller looked to be in good spirits and was struck by how many former employees came back to participate in the auction.

“There were a lot of people whose children had worked for him and they said they came to get a piece of the town’s history,” he said.

Opened in 1894, W.E. Fuller & Co. was one of the longest running businesses in town before it officially closed its doors last weekend. Fuller was the store’s fourth-generation owner and decided several months ago to close the business and retire.

Fuller held a big sale in the weeks leading up to the store’s closure, and once he was done all the clothes that were left over were donated to charity. The proceeds from Thursday’s auction went back to Fuller, and he’s said that he now plans on dedicating more time to his family and to the Boy Scouts.