Shoppers pack Frederick Lupton II estate sale in Chattanooga

Shoppers pack Frederick Lupton II estate sale in Chattanooga

June 22nd, 2014 by Alex Harris in Local Regional News

Josh Costeel looks at tools at the estate sale for Fred Lupton, a professional engineer and well-known, longtime minister, on Saturday in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Photo by Erin O. Smith /Times Free Press.

Over a lifetime, memories and possessions accumulate - but when it's your time to go, it doesn't go with you.

At the estate sale of the longtime home of Frederick Lupton II -- a local electrical engineer, businessman, Presbyterian minister and philanthropist who passed away Dec. 30 at age 81 -- the 5,600 square foot, one-story home with an expansive basement was packed with this accumulation, as well as with shoppers looking for unique treasures.

"We just spread out and put shelves in every room and just spread it all out, because when you get a thousand people in here, it's hard to fit everybody," said Jo Welch of Welch's Antiques & Estates.

The home at 2562 Crestwood Drive took about a week to set up for the sale. By Saturday afternoon, a large portion of Lupton's massive tool collection, as well as many antiques, had been sold to the thousands of people who had come through the home so far, Welch said.

Family members already had set aside sentimental items and certain pieces of furniture before hiring Welch, she said.

The walls of the home's many rooms were lined with tables holding books, trinkets and knickknacks, all priced for sale.

Old games -- dominoes, cards, checkers -- and toys were interspersed among books, lamps, sculptures, jewelry and dishes. One wall was home to old campaign signs, buttons and stickers for politicians such as Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Lamar Alexander.

The workshop -- a basement room at least 50 feet long -- was packed with tools, electrical parts and general hardware. Another basement room held vintage and antique phones and parts.

Nearly 150 pieces of furniture were offered, including a chair formerly owned by Lucius Fairchild, the 10th governor of Wisconsin, and an antique portable bathtub used to bathe by the fireplace.

"Estate sales are addicting," said Gabe McCampbell, a salesman and sale enthusiast who said he had been in line waiting for the sale to start since 6:30 a.m.

McCampbell said he generally looks for tools, watches and any old, collectible items, such as the old coins and WWII collectibles he purchased at the sale.

"I buy tools [at estate sales] just because they're so much cheaper than the store, and plus they're made in America," McCampbell said.

The continues today from 1 to 4 p.m., and Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Once the sale has run its course, a buyout person will come through to collect leftover items and make sure the home is clean for the Realtor to begin showing it, Welch said.

Contact staff writer Alex Harris at or 423-757-6592.