Historic Old Central High items set for auction causes community dust up

Historic Old Central High items set for auction causes community dust up
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 6:06 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (CBS 3 Duluth) - Relics from Historic Old Duluth Central High School are set to be auctioned off on Saturday, but some alumni have mixed feelings.

The Historic Old Central High School Museum Committee used to display items like marching band uniforms and other high school memorabilia in a museum inside the century-old building.

But they recently had to move out of the school because a developer had purchased the downtown property.

They tried for two years to find a new location to showcase the items, but nothing worked out.

That allowed Forrest Evavold of Nordic Auction to bid on the items.

“They were searching for a way to sell it and I was the one that ended up with the bid on the auction,” Evavold said.

Evavold recognizes the old high school is sentimental for a lot of Duluthians, especially after the location on the hill closed down in 2011 when the school district consolidated high schools.

“This is a very unique spot, it’s Duluth history,” he said, “It’s downtown, I mean, everybody in this whole area know the downtown old central high school building.”

He plans to auction off the items Saturday.

After some alumni and community members got wind of the auction, they weren’t too keen on the idea.

Former Duluth Mayor Don Ness wrote on Facebook, “these assets should remain available to the public and to maintain the memory and history of Duluth Central for generations to come.”

Arden Stabs is also worried Central might become a thing of the past.

“Now all of this historical stuff from Duluth Central is gonna disappear,” Stabs said.

He graduated from Historic Old Central in 1961, the same year the boys basketball team won state.

“A lot of people have said it was probably one of the best basketball teams that played in the Minnesota state basketball tournament,” he said.

He even still has the trophy the team won after their championship.

“We almost had to have like two kids carry it,” Stabs said.

Ness and others want to find a facility for the memorabilia to be stored at.

Evavold said he wants to let people know he’s just doing his job.

“Don’t be mad at me, I am just the auctioneer,” he said.

But Stabs and other don’t want to see Trojan memorabilia sold away.

“But stuff that directly, you know, came from Duluth central, identifies Duluth central, then I hate to see that stuff going,” he said.

Evavold is encouraging people who hope to bid on the items to attend Saturday’s auction, which starts at 10 a.m. at Nordic Auction.

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