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1776 tavern among lots in July two-session sale

The late William "Bill" Johnson's lifelong acquisition of unique, eclectic and ordinary items, will come to market July 10-11 and July 24-25. During the two session auction, to be presented by John McInnis Auctioneers, items including Americana, toys, banks, clocks, abandoned railroad cars, and a 1776 tavern will be up for bid.

AMESBURY, Mass.— The estate and collection of William “Bill” Johnson, one of the region’s most colorful characters and collectors, will be presented at auction by John McInnis Auctioneers in two sessions July 10-11 and July 24-25.

Bids will be accepted in person, by phone or absentee, and online bidding will be facilitated by

1776 tavern

The Barnard Tavern and Farmhouse, located in Kennebunk, Maine, and built in 1776, is one of many items set for sale during an auction to be held on site, July 24-25. (Photos courtesy John McInnis Auctioneers) and

Johnson, who was a collector of antiques, advertising and items that reflected the culture and spirit of the region, was well known for his love of collecting and his spirited approach to life. He founded the Johnson Hall Museum, located in Kennebunk, Maine, which featured unique items, including a 1930s gas station, abandoned railroad cars and even a cabin that was once part of a nudist colony. The long-time collector actually passed away while attending an auction.

The first session will be held at the McInnis Gallery, 76 Main Street in Amesbury, Mass. Items slated to come before bidders during the July 10-11 sale include Americana, toys, banks, clocks, advertising, seldom-seen mochaware, paintings, pocket watches, framed presidential signatures, nautical items and Victorian pieces, among others.

The second session, July 24-25, will be held at Johnson’s homestead, the Barnard Tavern and Farmhouse — which is also slated to be presented for sale during the auction. The tavern is located in Kennebunk, Maine, and contains many of the eclectic and ordinary items Johnson obtained over the years. According to historical reports, the tavern was built in 1776 by Joseph Barnard, one of

Lobster Roll stand

One of the more unique items featured in this auction is this Lobster Roll mobile stand.

Maine’s first mail carriers. Johnson purchased the tavern in 1976.

The same auction that features vintage advertising items and a Tiffany lamp, also includes a roadside Lobster Roll stand. The diversity of items represents the culture of the Maine, as well as Johnson’s own collecting adventures, which have been references in Yankee Magazine and on the television show “American Pickers.”

For more information about the two-session auction, visit, email or call 978-388-0400.