A man who’s turned his Ross Spur property into a museum to show off his finds wouldn’t budge for big-time professional pickers who visited his home last summer.
Don Endersby will now relive his experience when “Canadian Pickers” (Sheldon Smithens and Scott Cozens) came calling at his home near Fruitvale in the “Mining for Gold,” episode on the History Channel Monday.
“I’ve been involved in mining and construction all of my life and I started collecting about 30 or so years ago,” said Endersby. “I should have started long before then.”
The 79-year-old has quite the collection of mining and farming equipment and treasures on his approximately 200-acre property that houses about 10 old structures that make up his place known locally as the “Valley Historical Museum.”
The pickers thought they struck gold when they came across his collection but only managed to squeak a deal on an advertisement sign.
“They wanted to buy old bicycles and signs and that but I wouldn’t sell it to them,” Endersby laughed. “They wanted to offer me $500 to $600 on the bicycles but I told them I’d sell them the bicycles for a million bucks and throw in my whole place.”
History is worth more to Endersby, who plans on handing his property down to kids one day to carry on the tradition.
Endersby said mining is in his blood, adding that his father searched for gold well before he began looking in Sheep Creek.
His family history is grounded within the region, with his grandfather settling in Rossland around 1896.
When he first began collecting, he shared his finds with other museums until one day he decided to keep his treasures at home, where he welcomes residents to stop in for a look-through.
The Canadian Pickers came through Southern B.C. on their coast-to-coast adventure rummaging through barns, basements, and attics.
Smithens and Cozens found Endersby’s lot when another collector gave them a tip.
“The people in Cranbrook that they went to see are friends of my brother,” Endersby’s daughter Bonnie Kutzner told the Times. “They told him my Dad had a collection of artifacts from mines in the area.”
Three Cranbrook pickers – Kelly Kobayashi, Don Michalsky and Rick Olson – will also be featured on the episode., which is scheduled to air Monday at 10 p.m. PST on the History Channel.