Word spread very quickly Friday about the planned sale of at least some of the contents of Rockcliffe mansion.
The mansion at 1000 Bird was built at the turn of the century by lumber baron J.J. Cruikshank, and for the last 40 years it’s been a gem of an historic site for Hannibal. The mansion has apparently been on the market for months. Price tag? $1.5 million on the Rockcliffe Web site; $999,000 on another realty Web site.
Most folks talking about the situation had no qualms about the sale of the mansion itself. It was the bits and pieces of history inside that got attention.
The private sale of items from the mansion is set in Clayton Saturday and Sunday by antique dealer Finches by Robinson, LTD, and is expected to feature everything from antique lace, quilts, and dolls to clothing, furniture and Limoges porcelain.
This is Hannibal history for sale because it’s likely many of the items belonged to the Cruikshank family.
Former Hannibal tourism director Faye Bleigh was saddened when she heard the news by e-mail Friday. She said the house would not be the same without the antiques.
“That’s what made the house so interesting,” she said. “It gave it more character.”
The items breathed life into a home that had not been lived in since the Cruikshanks left after the death of J.J. Cruikshank in the 1920s. It was resurrected as a tourist site after being rescued by a small group of concerned local residents in the 1960s.
Three local families (Dr. and Mrs. Merrill Roller, Mr. and Mrs. Delbert Hartley and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Raible) formed a corporation in 1967 to buy the home — just days before it was to be torn down.
More than one person talking about the sale of the mansion and its content expressed hope Friday that a local buyer or group would step into the fray once again and save the structure.