Iowa man buys Gruber wagon at auction

Hay hauler is piece of county’s rich 19th century history

Becca Gregg  Reading Eagle

An Iowa man was the highest bidder Monday on a Gruber hay wagon dating to the late 19th century.

The wagon, along with a 1929 Model A Ford truck, was on the auction block at Green Hills Auction Center in Breck-nock Township.

“It was a very good turnout,” Samual Ferraro, founder of the family-owned auction house, said of the crowd that came out to bid. “The people selling (the wagon) wanted at least $5,000 for it. We got it up to $3,600 and it sounds to me like the successful bidder is willing to pay the minimum $5,000. He was willing to go higher.”

The wagon, built at the Gruber Wagon Works in Mount Pleasant, had been authenticated by the Berks County Heritage Center, and its origin traced to a Sinking Spring-area farm.

Nearly a decade ago, Spring Township resident Sue Morey received the wagon as a Christmas gift from her husband, Jerry. Due to its size, storage became an increasing problem and Morey chose to give it up.

The wagon was considered to be in excellent condition, with much of the original paint and stenciling still intact.

Ferraro said it’s been 40 years since the auction has sold a Gruber wagon in comparable condition.

Ferraro did not have the name of the potential buyer later Monday.

As for the Ford truck up for auction, Ferraro said, “It ended up bringing in all but $15,000.”