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Pieces of Weidmann's history claimed in public sale

By By Chris Allen Baker/staff writer
Feb. 17, 2002
Dorothy Moore may not have realized it at the time, but she was sharing a piece of history Saturday with a former governor of Tennessee.
Meridian native Winfield Dunn, with two cane-seat ladder backed chairs in his hands, was among the final customers on the second day of Weidmann's last clearance sale.
But when Moore walked up to the checkout table and handed over cash for some dishware as the final minute ticked away, she closed a public sale of Weidmann's Restaurant treasures and a chapter of Meridian history.
Moore was the last of hundreds of people who visited the old Weidmann's sale on Friday and Saturday, shopping for keepsakes to remind them of time spent and meals eaten at the local landmark. When the sale closed, Weidmann's, now owned by Weidmann's Square LLC whose shareholders include Lauderdale County-born actress Sela Ward and Meridian businessman Fred Wile was a shell of its former shelf.
A couple of tables remained, along with a number of white coffee cups and saucers, a few beer mugs, some silverware and empty wine bottles in green plastic crates. Last-minute shoppers picked up the last of the captain's chairs, menus and candlestick holders.
Peanut butter crocks, selling for $40 each, were long gone by Saturday. A brass rail that stood between the lunch counter and main dining area sold on the second day for $400. Tables, chairs, dishes, silverware, the staircase, photos, aluminum Black Bottom Pie plates and bread pudding cups also found new homes.
Even the kitchen sink was sold for $60. Prices ranged from 25 cents to $2,000 and some prices were discounted in the final hours.
Dunn, a Meridian native and a former governor of Tennessee, was among the Saturday shoppers.
Beth Land, a certified personal property appraiser hired to coordinate the sale with antique dealer Zexa Alman, said a list of people having expressed interest in the remaining items will be called.
Sale organizers said about half of the proceeds will go the Hope Village, the residence for abused and neglected children founded by Ward at the former Masonic Home in Meridian.