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Fontanelle Observer

The thrill of the pick

Winkelmann enjoys finding new home for antiques

Chad Winkelmann of Bridgewater looks at a collection of shovels he has in his 1920s barn he’s fixed up. Winkelmann has gotten into antiques and has enjoyed fixing some of them up. He’s now ready to show people his barn and the items he’s picked by having a sale this weekend.
Chad Winkelmann of Bridgewater looks at a collection of shovels he has in his 1920s barn he’s fixed up. Winkelmann has gotten into antiques and has enjoyed fixing some of them up. He’s now ready to show people his barn and the items he’s picked by having a sale this weekend.

In his quest for treasures others may see as junk, Chad Winkelmann found a table from a farmstead near Fontanelle that has no nails in its construction. It was in rough shape when he found the table but now Winkelmann has repurposed it into something great again.

It's projects like those, projects that take an antique piece and makes them better than he found them that Winkelmann enjoys so much. That table is just one item he's found along his journey of picking.

Winkelmann also has a barn he's fixed up. It's a 1920s barn on his family's place northeast of Bridgewater. It's where he grew up and he has lots of memories there.

"I'm kind of proud of this barn and have been restoring it "It was starting to fall into disrepair so I started deciding that I should fill it with antiques because I'm not going to fill it with sheep like it used to be," Winkelmann said. "One of my biggest memories of this barn is that when you'd come in here in the middle of winter and it'd be 30 below zero, you'd come out and check the sheep to see if they're lambing and you'd come in the barn and it would be 50 degrees in here. It felt nice and warm like you could sleep out here with the sheep."

While he knows the barn isn't finished to where he knows it can be, he deems it's good enough that he can start selling a few of the items he's picked through the last five to seven years.

"I've kind of always gone to auctions, but then I decided that I wanted some of this for myself. In order to keep some of this for myself it has to make some money," Winkelmann said. "I sell some and I keep some. I've been going to flea markets for the last three or four years, and last weekend I was at the Greenfield swap meet."

Winkelmann's first sale will be this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at his barn, located 1/4 mile east of Bridgewater on Highway 92, a mile north on Cedar Avenue and another 3/4 mile east on 260th Street. The barn is on the left side of the road.

Winkelmann isn't trying to start a business, but he is planning on having sales of his items two or three times a year. Items he has include metal chairs, all sorts of shovels, saws, cream cans, corn shellers, grain cleaner, and plenty of kitchen items.

"I do not consider myself an antique dealer. I don't know the markets. I kind of know a value of stuff, which is a lot of times two peoples' opinions of what it should bring. I'm still learning along with everybody else about what stuff is and what it's worth," Winkelmann said. "I enjoy working on this stuff. I enjoy finding this stuff and fixing it up more than I enjoy selling it. I have a lot of junk and a lot of stuff. A lot of it's still good that someone else can enjoy it as well."

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