Ivan Natividad

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August 21, 2014
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Historic Nevada City home to sell unique family antiques

B&C Estate Sales Inc., a Sacramento multi-service estate liquidation company, will hold an estate sale starting today in one of Nevada City’s earliest homes, featuring antiques dating back to the 1840s. The sale in the 500 block of Main Street in Nevada City will be held daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., today through Sunday.

“This sale is amazing because they’ve owned the house since 1866, and some of the pictures that are in the house were taken there in the 1800s, which is so cool to me,” property appraiser Brian Johnson said.

“In my 20 years of doing this, it’s got to be in my top five sales that I’ve ever done. It might end up being number one when we’re done, because there’s so many unique items, and it’s been a lot of fun putting together.”

Johnson says that thousands of items are for sale ranging from heirloom jewelry, old records and furniture, to dining and bedroom sets original to the home. Johnson said he was first contacted to run the sale in April, after a friend connected him with the remaining son in the family.

“His father, Tom Daniels, passed away three years ago from a heart attack and his mother was a stroke victim,” Johnson said.

“So they kept the house for three years thinking that she might get well enough to go back. But he realizes now that there is no way that will happen, so that’s why they’re selling everything.”

Known as the Aaron Baruh home, the Main Street residence was built in 1852 by Jacob Kohlman, a Sacramento businessman and Free Mason. Born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1823, Baruh migrated to Nevada City in 1852 as one of the city’s earliest settlers, and opened a clothing store on Main Street with his brother, Herman.

After several fires burned down his store, Baruh opened a grocery store on Commercial Street, receiving gold nuggets and gold dust as payment.

He would later also own and run a liquor store in the same area.

Baruh married German immigrant Theresa Wolfe in Nevada City in 1860, and the couple would go on to have seven children.

On Oct. 20, 1866, Baruh purchased the Main Street home from its previous owner for $565. Baruh would die in September 1907 and passed the home to his children and remaining family, which now spans more than seven generations.

In 1975, the Native Sons of the Gold West got the home placed on the historic registry, and a plaque was placed in the front of the home.

Most recently, retired Bay Area police officer Tom Daniels lived in the home with his wife Lorie, until 2011 when he passed away. The residence and its contents are now owned by Daniels’ wife, and son David Daniels, the remaining relatives left on the family trust.

David Daniels, 35, says that there are items in the house with a lot of historical value that private collectors and the public will want to purchase.

“In some regards, it is tough to let all of this stuff go,” David Daniels said. “But if you look at it, the possessions are really not the big thing, there’s so many possessions for someone to say ‘I’m going to keep everything,’ that is unrealistic. You just can’t keep a house in a museum status like that forever.”

Local antique aficionado Amy Houston, also known as Auburn Amy, has spent years collecting, selling and reviewing vintage items and artifacts found throughout the Gold Country. Houston says that the Nevada City estate sale is one of a kind.

“What makes this most unique is just the shared history of the family that dates back to 1866,” Houston said. “I found an item in this property that dates back to 1844, prior to them even taking the residence. There’s just not many places that you can actually walk through the doors and have it so untouched and have these heirlooms passed down from multiple generations. It was definitely a treasure trove.”

Houston, who does a monthly video segment for Channel 31’s Good Morning Sacramento, sifted through the Baruh estate Wednesday to show the public what types of things they can purchase.

“There was a box of garbage and in the bottom of the box there was a ring and Brian and I didn’t even know if it was a real ring or a costume ring,” Houston said.

“Well, lo and behold, this box that was going to go out with the trash held this unbelievably gorgeous diamond ring from the 1800s. It’s a one karat called a miners cut, so it’s a real old-fashioned cut, and it has a whole bunch of diamonds around it. It was headed for the trash, but it’s such a treasure.”

Johnson points out another unique item that was owned by a former family member.

“Howard Sherwood, he was a Free Mason that lived there for a long time, and there’s a hand-made cabinet, when you walk in the front door, with all his Masonic rings and symbols,” Johnson said.

“I think it’s so rare that it may be the only one in existence. There is nothing like it listed and I can’t find anything like it. It’s a really cool item.”

Johnson says that there is more than $30,000 worth of items at the estate.

“While we appreciate everybody who is going to be coming out, please keep in mind this is still a family home,” David Daniels said. “Enjoy the items that you decide to get, and please be respectful of the house.”

For more information, go to www.norcalestatesales.com. To contact Auburn Amy, go to www.facebook.com/auburnamypicker.

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email inatividad@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.

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The Union Updated Aug 21, 2014 04:45PM Published Aug 21, 2014 01:01AM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.