Edmund Fitzgerald Artifacts Sold To Duluth Woodcarver

By KBJR News 1

October 4, 2010 Updated Oct 4, 2010 at 10:55 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN. --- Several items reportedly taken from the historic Edmund Fitzgerald before its tragic sinking hit the auction block here in Duluth.

The highest-priced item in Monday's auction was a set of rare paddles from the ship clearly marked with the name "Edmund Fitzgerald." But there were other items too, including a rare ship's blanket and several historic photographs.

Expert Auctioneer Brent Loberg of Duluth-based Sellers Auction Co. presented the goods.

"The Edmund went down 25, 30 years ago, and these were obviously taken, and put in a garage and secured, way, way, before that," explained Loberg as he held up one of the mysterious paddles clearly marked "Edmund Fitzgerald."

"But, just the name alone —– it's an item that you would never, ever find again."

The Fitzgerald is widely regarded as the most famous shipwreck on all of the Great Lakes. She sank on November 10th 1975, after being trounced by an horrific November storm.

All 29 crew members were lost.

However, the legend of the Fitzgerald lives on. Today, hundreds filtered through Loberg's auction house for a chance to own a piece of the Fitzgerald.

Loberg swears the artifacts are real, and said he has checked out their background stories from the sellers.

Todays top bidder: Duluthian David Perkins, who dropped a quick $1,600.00 for the set of four paddles from "The Fateful Fitz."

"You just don't see something like this coming along," Perkins said when asked why he bought them.

"[It's] something a person gets caught up in, and buys 'em, and I think I got 'em cheap," he added.

Perkins is famous in his own right. The expert wood carver makes spear fishing decoys here in Duluth and sells them throughout the nation.

But not to worry, the local handyman said he won't be carving his new-found paddles.

"I'll probably keep them, or give them to friends," he said.

Written for the web by Matt Standal