P.O. Box 190 Auburn, Indiana 46706
The Oscar's Dreamland auction was billed as the largest private tractor and steam engine sale in the world. On June 13, 14, and 15 1998, Kruse International presented a sale that exceeded the expectations of nearly 6,000 people who attended. Over 2,000 of those who visited Oscar's Dreamland during the final week were registered as bidders.
Oscar Cooke's collection was known throughout the world as the largest collection of the rarest tractors in existence. Oscar's Dreamland was the work of Oscar and Marcella Cooke, who spent over forty years assembling the collection. Oscar dedicated his life to preserving the heritage of American agriculture.
Several world records were broken during the auction. One of these records, broken late in the auction, was a butter churn which sold for $2,600. Top sales included the 1908 Best steam engine for $142,500; a Holt 75 tractor for $120,000; an IH Titan 30-60 tractor for $120,000; an Olmstead 25-50 tractor for $90,000; and the 1920 Rumely Kerosene Annie tractor sold for $89,000.
The most active buyer of the sale was Idaho potato magnate, JR Simplot, who announced during an interview with 'The Discovery Channel' that he was constructing a $100 million museum that would pay tribute to the history of agriculture in America. Dean Kruse announced that Oscar's dream would continue in the new museum, as several of the items from Oscar's collection were added to the list of inventory for Simplot's venture. Simplot, who is 89 years old, earned a standing ovation from pleased spectators.
Another announcement that had the crowd buzzing was that Kruse International and the Limpp family would begin presenting annual events at Oscar's Dreamland. The second annual event has been slated for the last week of June 1999, and over 500 items have already been consigned. Marcie Limpp, Oscar Cooke's daughter, was glad that antique tractor and automobile enthusiasts would continue to gather at Oscar's Dreamland. 'My father built his museum because it was his dream to share this passion. He would be proud that an annual event of this nature will be held in his memory,' she said.