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Pieces of T.B. Scott Mansion for sale to public

Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 6:34 PM CST
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MERRILL, Wis. (WSAW) - Rice’s Antiques and Architectural Salvage in Wausau is helping sell some of the interior elements of the T.B. Scott Mansion in Merrill.

So far, owner Jeff Rice says interest has been huge.

“I’ve had over 17,500 messages, from Merrill, they’re from all over. There’s a lot of people messaging even that don’t live here,” he said.

Rice says a lot of people who have moved away from Merrill still want a keepsake. One popular item is tile from any of the fireplaces.

But Rice is helping salvager Dan Kearns of American Relics preserve larger items, like decorative woodwork. Kearns was awarded the salvage contract for the mansion, and has been a friend of Rice’s since high school.

Rice said sometimes salvage operations are looked at in a negative light because they aren’t preserving the actual buildings. But he says some just can’t be saved.

“We’re the ones actually stepping in to try and save it, because if there wasn’t us, that stuff would just get bulldozed,” he said.

The Merrill Historical Society was able to request a large number of pieces for free before Kearns was awarded the salvage contract. They are trying to add a couple more things to their collection to round out their exhibit.

“We still have a few things we’d like to negotiate on, and those will be items we’ll have to purchase, but we certainly feel that the funds are worth it,” said Merrill Historical Society Pat Burg.

One of the items is the grand staircase from the entrance to the mansion. They will pair it with a decorative mantle much as it was in the original foyer. Ceilings in the historical society are not quite as high as the ones in the mansion, however.

“We will be able to display the majority of the staircase, not in this room, but in another one of our rooms, and we think it will work out fairly well,” said Society President Bea Lebal.

Lebal says they have already reached their fundraising goal to purchase the remaining items.

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