The quirky and popular television show “American Pickers” is coming to northeast Kansas this spring in search of antiques and other interesting pieces of history that might be hidden away in dusty recesses. The History Channel is looking to film some of those discoveries as future episodes of the show.
Known as “pickers,” hosts Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz scour the country and look for old barns, warehouses, junkyards, homes and just about anywhere else they think antique treasures might be hiding. They then negotiate the sale of the pieces they are interested in purchasing with the owner and take the items back to their Antique Archaeology store in LeClaire, Iowa, for resale.
The show debuted in January 2010 and garnered 3.1 million viewers. Ratings and popularity continue to soar as viewers watch to see what pieces of Americana the pair will find hidden away and interesting characters they meet along the way. Of course, finding the forgotten treasure is only part of what they do. Before most items can be re-sold, they must be cleaned, restored or refurbished.
“Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way,” said Nora Walls, casting associate for “American Pickers.”
While digging through building storage spaces that have accumulated items for decades, Wolfe and Fritz are willing to make an offer on just about anything that is old, especially if the item has to do with the auto industry or classic toys. They also are interested in purchasing unique collections from individuals and visiting multi-generational family properties. The pickers are always looking for something they’ve never seen before.
With the deep history of northeast Kansas, the area is sure to yield plenty of great antiques and stories.
“There is so much history in and around Basehor that I’m sure the guys from ‘American Pickers’ are going to find some real treasures here,” said longtime Basehor resident Frank Palcher. “Our city was founded in 1889 and before that, it belonged to the Delaware Indians. While there is a lot of new development in Basehor, it’s easy to see some older pieces of history still standing here and there.”
If you are interested in having “American Pickers” come pick through your items, contact them at AmericanPickers@coneflix.com or call them at 1-855-OLD-RUST (653-7878). They only pick private collections, so no stores, malls, flea markets, museums, auctions, businesses or anything else open to the public will be considered.
Beth Kornegay is a freelance writer covering news and events in the city of Basehor. If you have a story idea, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org