ROCKVILLE, Ind. (WTHI) - UPDATE: A historic hotspot will soon hit the public auction block.
After bids for Billie Creek Village were too low—during an 11-day sealed big auction—the public will soon be able to place their bid on the historic village in Parke County.
The living history village includes 70 acres, two covered bridges, 30 Civil War era buildings and a party pavilion, along with antiques, equipment and inventory from a general store.
The village was developed as a tourist and educational destination back in the mid 1960s.
The public auction will take place October 20, during the Annual Covered Bridge Festival.
Billie Creek Village, a popular turn-of-the-last-century village near Rockville, Ind. is being sold, an auctioneering firm confirmed.
The village first opened in the 1960s as a year-round tourist attraction and eventually included several historical buildings and attractions. Though the organization Parke County, Inc. helped start the village, a separate group called Billie Creek Village, Inc. formed in the 1970s to care for the village, according to books listing the community's history.
Now, those who own the village are hoping to sell the entire village including land, buildings and antiques in a sealed-bid auction that ends September 20, according to Key Auctioneers, the company handling the sale.
- KEY AUCTIONEERS | Click here to view
"Billie Creek Village is such an intrinsic part of the community that the owner would like to see it kept alive … for future generations to learn about Indiana history," said Veronica Hughes, of Key Auctioneers. "That's his hope."
Still, Hughes said that if the owners do not get sufficient bids, they will hold an auction October 20 to sell of the land, antiques and other equipment separately. That has some in the community worried.
"I've heard a lot of different comments. A lot of people say ‘How can this happen?" said Cathy Harkrider, of Parke County, Inc., the group that first helped build the village. "Personally, on my own level, it's a sad note if the village is not maintained by a group that's dedicated to what it was set out to be."
Meanwhile, others in the community point out that many of the buildings and antiques at Billie Creek Village were donated by community members.
"That is a tough situation. When you give something as a gift, it is up to the owner what is done with it," Harkrider said. "In this case that is Billie Creek Village, Inc., and apparently they've decided, the board of directors, to disperse of that if they need to."
News 10 tried to contact Village's owner by telephone but did not receive an answer or reply.
- BILLIE CREEK VILLAGE AUCTION INFORMATION | Click here to learn more
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