Schmidt Collection completely sold

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Museum building available for lease

By Kelly Cantrall

After more than a year, the Schmidt family has said goodbye to the collection they’ve owned for decades.

The Schmidt Collection of Coca-Cola Memorabilia has been completely sold, Larry Schmidt announced Monday. An auction planned for March no longer will take place.

The family had its last auction in September, and a substantial amount of the collection remained afterward, Schmidt said. But pieces continued to sell and the family made its final transaction at the end of November.

“It’s a little bit bittersweet,” he said.

Schmidt, president of the Schmidt Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia, announced in April 2011 the museum would close and an estimated 80,000 items would be sold.

“It certainly feels good to have this project complete,” he said.

The museum was opened by Schmidt’s parents in 1977, and the family’s 40-year period of collecting items such as Coca-Cola advertising and branded merchandise has come to an end.

The building that housed the museum, located off U.S. 62 near an Interstate 65 exit, is available for leasing through Hornback Realty, Schmidt said. The building that was used for storage still will be owned by Schmidt.

“We’re just very appreciative of all the interest,” Schmidt said, from people interested in purchasing the items to those who toured the museum over the years.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.