The city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is bankrupt and is holding a fundraising auction of some neat items from its cabinet of curiosities. Oddly, the items are in the "Wild West" vein even though the city, well, isn't in the west. Apparently, the former mayor Stephen Reed collected the artifacts for an unfinished Wild West museum meant to attract tourists. Of course, Pennsylvania is not a western state, but but still… terrific items! From the BBC News:
"Bankrupt Harrisburg holds Wild West auction"
From creaking stage coaches to the ghostly skeletons of cacti, there's a bit of everything.
The possessions and photograph of a prostitute from Tombstone, Arizona (above right) are among those up for sale Gloves that may or may not have belonged to Buffalo Bill. A wanted "dead or alive" poster for Jesse James. A horse's hoof, complete with shoe, from the battle of the Little Big Horn. Gorgeous French dueling pistols. A bag full of undertaker's equipment.
And perhaps most bizarre of all: a vampire-killing kit, complete with pistol, stake, mirrors, crosses and a jar of garlic...
The city hopes to recoup some of the public money - estimated at between $8m and $15m - that Mr Reed spent putting it together. But it will barely make a dent in the city's colossal debts.