GARDINER — If you’ve been itching to own a piece of Gardiner’s industrial history, now’s the time.

Starting at 8:30 a.m. Friday, city officials will conduct an informal auction at the former T.W. Dick buildings in downtown.

The goal is to clear the buildings of whatever people might find useful, can afford and can haul away.

Shelving, office equipment, metal bolts and rebar, chains, large plan printers and an old refrigerator are ripe for the picking, although there’s no way to know what’s in working condition.

The Gardiner City Council approved the auction in April at the properties the city acquired in a bid to clear them of industrial contaminants so they can be redeveloped. One of the four parcels has been identified as a site for a medical arts building to be built by Developers Collaborative, and a second parcel may be developed into affordable senior housing by that same firm.

Even before the auction was authorized, Dawn Thistle, archivist with the Gardiner Public Library, toured the buildings and set aside some artifacts that are now a part of the archive collection.

“I have three old barrels that probably held nails or scrap metal,” Thistle said. “They were probably made here in Gardiner.”

She also set aside what she thinks is a sales room sample of a steel tank. The company billed itself as a fabricator of tanks from one gallon to 50,000 gallons, she said, although she’s seen reference to a 100,000 gallon tank. And she collected some company documents from the 1930s and 1940s, which may have some reference to manufacturing in the years leading up to and during World War II.

If only one person is interested in an item, that person can make an offer on it and buy it. If two people are interested, that would prompt the informal auction.

Those interested in buying items are asked to pay with cash or check. Alternatively, Gardiner City Manager Scott Morelli said people can buy with a credit card at City Hall and take away the item Friday. Those paying by check will be asked to wait until the check clears before picking up their items.

Anyone who cannot take their purchases Friday can return May 27 to pick up their items.

Anything left on site will become the responsibility of the contractors chosen to demolish the buildings.

Morelli said some of the proceeds of the auction will go to city coffers to offset its costs, and the remainder will go to the state of Maine.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

jlowel[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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