KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A historic Kansas City, Mo. landmark has been sold and as a result, several of historic pieces belonging to the landmark hit the auction block on Saturday.
After 125 years one of the metro's oldest businesses, the Benjamin Ranch, has been closed after being sold to the Cerner Corporation. On January 1, 2014 the old ranch and rodeo grounds will be bulldozed to make way for a huge office development.
Over the years, tens of thousands of visitors have come to Benjamin Ranch, which started as a dairy in the late 1880's and then evolved into stables and rodeo grounds.
In more recent history, the cowboy bunkhouse at the ranch was turned into a gift shop, and the barn became an event center that hosted everything from wedding parties to office parties.
The Faulkner family took over the running of the ranch 25 years ago.
"It’s been a ride and we appreciate all the support we have gained from all the citizens throughout the world really," said Bob Faulkner of the Benjamin Ranch.
As Faulkner picked through the treasures of Benjamin Ranch’s past, he could not help but to connect memories with all the different antiques.
“That dollar 180 is what we used to charge for horseback riding back in the fifties,” said Faulkner.
An antique Victorian sleigh created unsurpassed memories for both customers and family alike.
“You've taken your grandkids around in this sleigh. About three years ago I hooked it up. We had such a great time, snow was perfect, big flakes, hallmark moment. It’s for sale,” said Faulkner.
A beautiful leather and brocade stage coach, which at one time had been pulled by six palomino horses and driven by Benny Benjamin in front of cheering rodeo crowds, was part of the auction as well. The stage coach will more than likely be the highest priced item in the auction.
Faulkner said parting with the ranch's animals is going to be the most difficult thing for him to part with.
“They are like old buddies of ours. We want to make sure they go to a good place a good home someone that will appreciate them like we do,” said Faulkner.
Leaving the ranch and its nostalgic past feels to the Faulkner’s and the long time staff here like parting with ten thousand old friends and a million great memories.
When the Faulkner family found out about five years ago, that they may lose Benjamin Ranch, they started building the Faulkner Ranch. They kept some of Benjamin Ranch's best memorabilia to carry on the tradition.
The Faulkner Ranch is off Raytown road in Kansas City, Mo. They offer parties and pony rides there.