Valley History Up For Sale

July 3, 2008 8:40:27 PM PDT
Historical items which offers a glimpse into Fresno's past go up for auction next week.The late Frank Caglia owned the Electric Motor Shop and was heavily involved in the Ag industry. Caglia saw value in everything so he kept everything. Now the family's preparing for a huge sell-off. A time when gas cost 32-cents a gallon. Some of the vintage items have been left rusted by the elements but local historian Elizabeth Laval was stunned by the Frank Caglia Collection.

Elizabeth Laval, Pop Laval Foundation: "It's emotional to see it because you think to us we think oh that's a pile of junk but it had a function and it helped make Fresno what it is today."

Frank Caglia passed away last year at the age of 94. Since the twenties he has collected everything from old fire trucks, to old tractors.

"I think this is one of the City of Fresno's old rigs."

"This was made in England"

"Look at this, it's even got the old crankstart."

Judging from this old Corn Flakes Box You can tell Frank Caglia was the ultimate pack rat.

Sally Caglia, Daughter: "I think it all goes back to my dad's years of living through the depression and being the oldest of 12 chldren that there's a value in everything and somebody's gonna need it."

The Caglias say the stuff is taking up too much space in their salvage yard.

Richard Caglia, Grandson: "It's actually gonna be nice to see some of it go somewhere to be restored, be used, be appreciated."

The items are already drawing interest from buyers who like to restore old equipment.

Bob Adams, San Joaquin Valley Antique Flywheelers: "Plows, discs, scrapers. There's so much out here it's unreal. Is it like a museum? It's better than a museum."

The tractors are so old John Deere was a market newcomer.

"Up to the forties that was the poor man's tractor the John Deere. It was cheap at its time."

Some pieces are worth their weight in gold.

Richard Caglia says people love the old vehicles.

"They want to see it because they had no idea it was here and I growing up with it as a kid kind of have taken it for granted all these years."

Elizabeth Laval is now trying to match items with her great-grandfather's old pictures.

"This is a fire escape from a building in downtown Fresno. Now we don't have a lot of clues except its a very distinctive railing."

"What a visionary. Thank goodness he preserved this otherwise it would only exist in pictures."

The Caglia collection goes up for auction Saturday July 12th on Van Ness and Lorena next to the Fresno arch, pre-viewing begins at noon on Friday the 11th.


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