Heckler Columbus Day Weekend Event – Best Yet!

I suspected that this years Heckler Columbus Day Weekend Event (featuring The Thomas McCandless Collection) would be a bit grander than normal but I had no idea that it would be this spectacular. I mean all the advertising and hype really set up a higher expectation, but wow, this was unreal.

I watched the weather forecasts all week and when Saturday came around it was just perfect. Our group of four (Jerry & Helen Forbes from Big Sur, my wife Elizabeth and I, from Houston) started from Stamford, Connecticut as we had been to the Mark Vuono get-together the day before. This was about a 2-hour drive northeast to Woodstock, Connecticut. The sky was as blue as possible and the temperature was in the 50’s and warmed up throughout the day. The trees were not as colorful, like most years, due to the abundance of moisture and heat throughout this odd summer and the lack of any real frosts as of yet.

I suppose the first difference I noticed this year was the two (2) burly security guys that greeted us at the barn driveway. Not intimidating, but different from past years. There were even parking marshallers organizing the large volumes of cars needing to be parked. Then I heard the live folk music, noticed the McCandless Banner on the barn and the large amount of setup that was present in the acres of freshly cut hay fields around the main Heckler barn and house area. Usually there are two or three long rows of cars, tents, tables, bottles and glass. This year there was a least four (4) major areas that you needed to travel by foot to visit all of the dealers. And boy was there glass. I saw everything from bitters, flasks, snuffs, inks, sodas, whiskeys, milk-bottles, insulators, fire grenades, drug stores, medicines, cures, poisons, beers, depression glass and lots and lots of great go-withs and small New England antiques.

Around noon or so, I heard the Fife & Drum Corp (Colchester Continentals) coming from a trail in the woods. The sound was moving towards the auction barn and this really cool ceremony announced the McCandless Preview, which started at 12:30 pm. This was so neat and a great way to separate the morning from the afternoon which had the barbecue and auction preview and event. This took the cake in my book. Way to go to all of the Hecklers and the multitude of folks like John Pastor who put together this memorable event, which will be talked about for years to come.

Enjoy the pictures.

Hard bound and soft bound McCandless auction catalogs for sale

Heckler central event barn

Behind the barn and house

Lots of cars to park

Jason Heckler (marketing genius) has everything under control

Bottle group set-ups and sales in four areas!

Janine Burkhardt finds a nice landscape painting

Fresh picked cranberries

Auction sign-up in the barn

Corn, pigs, barrels and cabins

Beautiful Crockery display

Aqua medicines

Colored drugstores dance in the sunlight

Ornate oil lamps

Antique tins and molds

Jeff & Holly Noordsy display tent

Just so much glass at this event!

Colchester Continentals Fife & Drum Corp coming from the distance to the barn area

Fife and Drum Corp announce the McCandless Auction & Event

Folk band plays throughout the day

Festive October bottle gift baskets

Nice glass colors interact with the sun

McCandless auction preview

E.G. Booz Cabins

Barn flag hangs proudly on Columbus Day

Nice display of bottles and plates

A couple of really cool tractors on display

Norman C. Heckler Sr.

Norman C. Heckler & Company sign

About Ferdinand Meyer V

Ferdinand Meyer V is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and has a BFA in Fine Art and Graphic Design from the Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design. Ferdinand is the founding Principal of FMG Design, a nationally recognized design consultation firm. Ferdinand is a passionate collector of American historical glass specializing in bitters bottles, color runs and related classic figural bottles. He is married to Elizabeth Jane Meyer and lives in Houston, Texas with their daughter and three wonderful grandchildren. The Meyers are also very involved in Quarter Horses, antiques and early United States postage stamps. Ferdinand is the past 6-year President of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors and is one of the founding members of the FOHBC Virtual Museum.
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3 Responses to Heckler Columbus Day Weekend Event – Best Yet!

  1. Warren Friedrich says:

    Thanks for the pictures, it was good to see what this event looks like! I was hoping to be the winner of lot 81, the glass making tools. Unfortunately I was at a Corvette meet all day on Saturday and didn’t have a chance to bid further.

  2. bill taylor says:

    Your web site is the BEST!!!!!!!!! Those of us who weren’t able to attend appreciate your write-up and pictures of Norm’s Event. He really out-did himself this time.

    Keep up the great work!

  3. Dave Maryo says:


    You captured the essence of the Heckler Columbus Day event with your photos and description. It was my first time at the Columbus Day event and I have to say it was well worth the trip across the country. Thanks for the all the work you put into this great website.


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