‘American Pickers’: Treasures Buried Alive…Almost

American Pickers stars Frank and Mike think they’ve seen it all, but when they came upon a collector who buried his items without marking them it was a new adventure for everyone.

During the latest episode of American Pickers, “You Betcha'” the pickers cruised through the states of Kentucky. and South Carolina.

They awaited the identity of their first picking spot and Danielle finally called with the news.

They would be visiting the widow of someone who built a community theater some 63 years ago.

It houses loads of collectibles. Frank got ramped up about it being tied to John Travolta. Apparently he performed live for the first time on the stage at that theater.

Pioneer Playhouse

The widow named Charlotte and her son-in-law Tom, now the general manager were wheeling and dealing with the pickers.

Hand painted portraits of Glen Campbell and Johnny Cash got bundled together for one price that pleased all.

When Charlotte showed them the hand-built sets behind the theater that were used to stage scenes from movies or shows Frank and Mike knew they hit the jackpot.

Looking just as good as any set built on a major motion picture lot, they contained precious items.

Mike even went so far as to offer $1,500 for an L-shaped wooden display case from a 19th century. general store The bid was instantly accepted by Charlotte.

Unlike some of the owners who offer tremendous resistance and bid hard against the pickers, there were no such exchanges with Charlotte and Tom. When some haggling occurred it was never tense.

Find Of The Place

An antique hand-carved wooden box on top of a pedestal, with sides of the box that opened up, as if it were a magician’s tool.

No one knew what it was for but Mike wanted it saying it was a picker’s dream piece. SOLD FOR $360 after negotiations.

South Carolina home of Pete, a collector who also sells boiled peanuts. The guys found him on the side of the road, selling his wares and ended up a few miles away at Pete’s place.

His property is lined with junk, or collectibles as the pickers call it. It was here, on the 15 acre piece of land that they discovered that Pete buried treasures, for security purposes, although old cars, lawn mowers and scrap metal were all on top of the ground. What could be so valuable that Pete thinks it’s a treasure?

There are no maps to help or even markers on the land. “Pete has a general idea where this stuff is.

Me and Frankie aren’t used to digging stuff up from underground,” says Mike.

Luckily, Pete merely covered a lot of the items with dirt, dead leaves and such. They included old gas station signs of companies or brand names no longer in existence.

ESSO and Texaco signs were valuable to the guys but Pete was not in a bargaining mood.

He quoted book value which is always a bad sign and as Frankie noticed, he was too emotionally attached to items.

“Pete has buried these pieces for a reason,” he observed. A classic collectible Biltmore Ice Cream store sign in worse shape than the Texaco or Esso ones. Was once again not sold because Pete wouldn’t set a reasonable price.

Find Of The Place 

Mike circled back to the Texaco sign and wouldn’t leave without getting something from Pete’s place.

Real haggling began for a sign larger than the others, a little newer but still a classic in good condition.

The guys ended up flipping Pete for it after he wouldn’t budge off $500 when the pickers offered $600.

Pete called tails and lost the bet, but all was well as Pete smiled behind the bushy grey mustache and beard.

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. You can catch a replay of the episode on Friday night. Check local listings and times or go to the History website, here.

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Written By James Huliq