'Odd' Historical Collection to Be Auctioned From Abandoned Montana Self-Storage Unit

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An auction scheduled to take place Wednesday evening in Malta, Mont., will include an extensive collection of historical artifacts and curios found in a local self-storage unit that has gone unpaid for 15 years. The new owner of the self-storage facility, who wishes to remain anonymous, contacted family members of the renter, none of whom were interested in reclaiming the property.

The sale will be conducted at 6 p.m. by Dan Tryan, owner of Tryans Auction Center. Items to be sold include a full-dress uniform of a grand past master of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF), including an embroidered sash and an elaborate plumed hat; a large collection of Order ribbons and badges, some from Montana conventions; Medals and ribbons from the Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization of Union veterans of the Civil War; and an extensive book collection including a three-volume “History of Montana,” a 10-volume “Photographic History of the Civil War,” and a pristine eight-volume “Battles and Leaders of the Civil War,” published in 1887.

Additional items of interest include an antique Boy Scouts shirt and matching trousers, a boy’s sailor outfit, decorative pins and buttons, jewelry, purses, hand mirrors, brushes, carving knives, silverware, China, antique toys, pocket watches, handmade quilts, old Montana maps, photographs of downtown Malta, and old copies of the Phillips County News.

The IOOF, also known as the Three Link Fraternity, is an altruistic fraternal organization derived from similar British groups that came into being during the 18th century. Founded in Baltimore in 1819, the organization is based on three founding principles: friendship, love and truth.

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