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Ax-murder museum sale offers Model T's, parts

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One of the United States’ most unique mysteries resides in the little town of Villisca, Iowa, the location one of America’s most famous unsolved mass murders. The Villisca Ax Murder, as it has come to be known, was a savage murder of a six people, a complete family wiped out in a quiet farming community. The crime was never solved and the home in which this tragedy took place still holds the ghosts and secrets of that crime. Listed as one of the most haunted places in the country, the home in which the Villisca Ax Murder took place still intrigues thousands of visitors each year.

Darwin and Martha Linn of Villisca are interested in preserving all of Villisca’s history and built up the Linn-Olson Museum. When the Ax Murder House came up for sale, they added it to their museum, which also contains Model T Fords and tractors. In addition to these vehicles, the museum holds everything from chalk figurines to a player piano to Whizzer bicycles to hundreds of pieces of farming history and Model T parts. Following Darwin’s death, Martha decided to sell the contents of the museum. However, she will continue to host tours of the Ax Murder House.

VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC will conduct an on-site auction of the contents of the Linn-Olson Museum June 2-3 at the museum in Villisca.

June 2 will feature the sale of all the vehicles, parts, tractors, farm-related items and other lot-numbered antique pieces. The vehicles include a 1923 Ford Model T coupe, an early-1920s Samson truck, a 1926 International truck, a 1918 Ford Model T truck and a 1921 Ford Model T delivery truck. Saturday’s portion of the auction will have online bidding hosted by

June 3 will include the sale of collectible items, furniture and more. There is no online bidding for the Sunday portion of the sale. The auction will take place at the Linn-Olson Museum, 323 E. 4th Street in Villisca. For more information, visit, or call 605-201-7005.

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