Days Gone By Museum Closing Doors After 30 years

The Days Gone By Museum in Portland, Tennessee has been a part of the local community for over 30 years. This September every piece in the collection will sell to the highest bidder in an online auction spanning four days.

The collection was accumulated by Joey and Kathleen Collins, who also hosted an annual Tractor and Threshing Festival which brought spectators from all over. The Couple knew the importance of preserving items from our agricultural past and having a place where people could see those items.

The museum’s collection is expansive covering decades and everything from farm primitives to airplanes. It’s hard to take it all in and on your first visit, you might not see everything.

The selling of these items is a massive undertaking for the Aumann Auctions team, who will have to photograph and describe; classic and antique tractors, airplanes, vintage cars & trucks, farm toys, gas engines, steam engines, jet engines, farm primitives, implements, petroliana and probably one of the most complete and extensive Maytag collections in the world. Of course, that’s not a complete list but shows just what the team is up against.

The tractors start with some of the earliest from the industrial revolution including a stationary steam engine. There are large prairie tractors like a 30-60 Aultman Taylor, which get their name from the virgin fields they plowed in the North American grasslands. There are early models you don’t see every day, then there are the common household names like International Harvester and John Deere.

The John Deere collection is definitely something to take note of. It has an entire wing in the museum which includes the early 1930’s letter series two-cylinder tractors to the 1960s six-cylinder new generation series. And Joey has a few special ones sprinkled throughout like a 1952 John Deere Model A High Crop 1 of 427 built, a nice original John Deere HWH 1 of 126 built, and a John Deere 320 Utility All-Fuel, 1 of just two produced.

If you’re not into tractors, there are plenty of vintage vehicles to look over. They include early models like an International Harvester High Wheeler, to later models from the 1950s. A bright yellow truck you probably won’t miss is a 1920’s Chevrolet Snow Traveler with front ski conversion that spent its working life as a rural mail carrier.

There’s even something for those interested in the history of World War II, a 1943 Navy R4D-5 Airplane. During World War II, the Navy acquisition this plane from Pan American airlines and redesignated it as a Navy R4D5. It was one of eleven planes that were acquisitioned and given this designation. The plane was modified to fly maneuvers in and out of the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory at Barrow, Alaska. It was decommissioned from the Navy in 1982 and was used privately.

About ten years ago Larry Collins purchased the plane from a private owner who flew the plane from Florida to the Portland, Tennessee airport. The wings were then removed and taxied down the road to their current location. These same planes were used extensively by the United States Army Airborne Divisions during World War II.

For those wanting to see the collection, the Museum will continue to be open during regular hours until the auction. You can also attend the open house on September 24, 2022, from 9 AM to 4 PM CST. The online auction will have multiple catalogs covering 4 days September 27, 28, 29 & 30, 2022.

For more information, click HERE






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