PLANT CITY — Maria Turner’s father used to show her the family’s three barns full of antiques and say that it would one day all be hers.
She’s still not sure if that was a loving promise or a threat, Turner laughed. But after her father died in 2011 and her mother in 2016, it was indeed all hers.
“They loved auctions,” Turner said. “So, we’re having an auction.”
The Plant City home and its barns have been sold and “everything must go that day,” auctioneer John Harris said of the Saturday morning event. “Everything, somehow. It’s a lot, but we’ll do it.”
While items like pots and pans, furniture and coins will be auctioned in sets, if every item is counted individually, Turner and her husband, Brad Turner, estimate that around 100,000 antiques will be available.
“It’s overwhelming,” Turner said. “But there is so much fascinating stuff.”
There is a $500 Confederate war bond, more than a dozen rifles and five bayonet swords from the Civil War era, dueling pistols that might date even further back and a Tallahassee land grant from 1829 that is signed by President Andrew Jackson.
“Old Hickory himself,” Harris said. “I also personally love the stagecoach banner.”
It is believed to have adorned a Wells Fargo stagecoach in the 1800s when the coaches carried gold across the country.
Turner’s parents, Franklin and Marie Mallard, collected and then sold antiques at Mallard’s Antiques shops in Panama City, Webster, Mount Dora and Plant City.
“The first was in Panama City, and it was connected to my grandmother’s house,” Turner said. “They kind of did it for her to have something to do. But then my parents fell in love with collecting and it was cheaper to have a rental storefront than storage units to house everything, so that’s how they got into it.”
Her father also traveled the country building stores for Western Auto Supply Company.
“He would take a trailer with him and collect stuff from all over,” Turner said. “And I was dragged to all these auctions growing up and had to go with my parents to antique stores and people’s houses for stuff.”
The collection also includes a century-old top hat made of beaver skin from England, a deep-sea diving helmet from the 1920s, a dynamite box and a collection of early-1900s police and fire call boxes, which contacted first responders via telegraph.
Looking to explore the Tampa Bay area?
Subscribe to our free One Day in Tampa Bay newsletter series
Once a week, you’ll get insider tips on things to do, dining and more to help you plan a perfect day in a local city or neighborhood.
You’re all signed up!
Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.
Explore all your options
“Whenever we thought that we knew everything that we had, we’d find something new,” Brad Turner said. “They built the guns into the house.”
As they remodeled the Plant City home a few years ago, the Civil War-era guns were discovered in a secret storage area in a second-floor ceiling.
Due to her personal connection to the collection, Turner said, it will be difficult to see it auctioned, but she will likely be there to watch.
“Auctions gave my parents so much joy,” she said. “They would love watching people get joy from their things being auctioned.”
If you go
The auction will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at 822 E Keysville Road in Plant City.