After 38 years in the auction business, Jeff and Sally Goeman are closing their auction pavilion on the north edge of Lennox.
Jeff grew up in Lennox. In 1981, Jeff got his auctioneer’s license and the couple moved back to Lennox from Colorado.
The Goemans said they moved back because his father, Lester Goeman, who was also an auctioneer, had the idea for an auction pavilion.
“At the time, we were both working two jobs, never saw each other because I worked nights and we decided that didn’t sound too bad, we’ll go do it,” Jeff said.
While in Colorado, Jeff had gotten his real estate license and Sally was working as a chiropractor’s assistant and at a health spa. Their oldest daughter was six weeks old when they moved home.
When he got started with his dad, they were doing mostly auctions at the landowners’ site. From 1981 until his dad died in 1987, about half of their auctions were at the auction pavilion. As time went on, more people wanted to bring their sales to the pavilion.
“It made more sense instead of doing all these small estate sales, so we just combined a few of them in one shot,” Sally said.
“We used to do three to four household sales a week on site. It got to be where we’d do two to three in one night as a combined sale,” Jeff said.
The Goemans have sold everything from land and personal property to construction and firearms.
The construction sales grew throughout the years with two sales a year. They visited with construction companies, lumberyards and retailers about their lumber, doors, windows, siding and construction equipment.
“They liked it because they could off load what maybe they discontinued. Well, they’d bring the whole line to us and we’d sell it off because they didn’t want it in their house anymore,” Jeff said.
In addition to their construction sales, Goemans would also conduct about 10 firearms auctions a year. They have sold more than 2,000 guns a year. They will continue to keep their federal firearms license even after they close their auction business.
During their nearly 40 years in the auction business, they have sold some interesting items. The sale they will remember the most is the sale of the Bast General Store in Ramona, S.D., in the 1990s.
The store was open in the 1930s and 1940s. The owners locked the store and walked away. Eventually they passed away and their relatives decided they needed to do something with it.
“We had people in the house, this was pre-internet days, we had people in house from 28 different states,” Jeff said.
He said they sold unopened packs of chewing gum for $55 per pack. One buyer bought 11 packs. He also sold 120-130 small bags of marbles for $55 a piece.
In their history, he said some of the highest selling items were $50,000 per acre for an 80-acre tract on the edge of Sioux Falls, an antique in Georgia that sold for $135,000 and a number of guns have gone for more than $15,000 each.
Jeff noted the biggest change in the auction business over the years has been the internet.
“Everything’s gone more computerized. Even us, we were doing more online sales,” Jeff said.
The Goemans held their last public auction June 28-29. They will host their own auction Sept. 7 at 10 a.m. where they will sell a number of personal property, equipment and unique items.
In addition to Jeff, other auctioneers will be on hand to sell items, including James Goeman, Jon Sweeter, Ken Girard, Mike Girard, Glenn Peterson, Cody Peterson and Brady Olson.
“It’s probably going to be the weirdest auction anyone’s ever seen because the last item that’s going to be sold is the very microphone that the auctioneer is using,” Jeff said.
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