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'American Pickers' Looking for Michigan Treasures

Have some historical goodies? Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz of the popular antiques-grabbing show are coming to the Mitten, and they want to go through your stuff.

Word is out: The men of American Pickers are heading to Michigan next month. What's not so certain? Where the team will visit when they come to the Mitten April 11-25.

One of the primary goals of the trip, said producer Jeff Eggleston, is take a look at the neon sign for the historic Ypsi-Arbor Lanes bowling alley in Ypsilanti.

"We were reached out to by the owner and ... we're trying to make that happen," Eggleston said. "Nothing is set in stone ... but we really like that story. It's a nice piece of American history that we'd love the guys to get involved in helping with."

With the alley set to close May 1, according to AnnArbor.com, conversation has centered around what will happen to the iconic sign, which has lit up the corner of Golfside Drive and Washtenaw Avenue since 1964, by some counts. Many residents want to keep it where it's at. Owner Ray Bonkowski wants to sell it–and American Pickers is looking to swoop it up.

Now in its third season on the History Channel, American Pickers follows hosts Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz as they traverse America, knocking on doors and digging through basements and barns to find antiques and other treasures. The series takes the team through triumphant finds and unfortunate digs as they try to sort through junk to find jewels–and purchase them from their owners.

Aside from the sign, the rest of the Michigan Pickers trip is up in the air–and Eggleston said the team is willing to travel wherever the promise of antiques and collectibles takes them, though they plan to spend most of their time in southeast Michigan.

"Travel-wise, we like to keep everything as close as possible, but we have no problem going to the Upper Peninsula, anywhere above the Thumb, anywhere under it," he explained. "We just want to find the best characters with the most unique and different and large collections."

However, Eggleston said, "We'd love to find three or four picks near the (Ypsi-Arbor Lanes) sign, if we could."

The list of desirable items is long and includes vintage pinball machines, old toys, concert memorabilia, vintage holiday items, bicycles and police and firefighter memorabilia.

Also, added Eggleston, "We are looking for large collections of motorcycles above all else in the Detroit area. Of course we’d love to hear from anyone with any type of large unique collection, but especially motorcycles in the Detroit area."

Think you have some stuff worth picking through? Contact American Pickers via e-mail at americanpickers@cineflix.com or by calling 646-873-6257.

Donald LeClair April 02, 2011 at 02:47 PM
Pittsfield Township Historical Society, April 2, 2011 We think we have items you may be interested in from the Sutherland-Wilson Farm Museum and the Cody Farm--doors, bath tub, rope maker and all types of tools, etc. All items date back to the 1800's.
Deanna April 11, 2011 at 02:51 PM
Mike and frank I am in michigan and I have some things but u will have to ge ahold of me to find out if it would be worth ur time I have a 1960 perfect shape porcelin fire chief texaco sign and I can get more my friend works in the fuel industry and has alot of old signs . I am in michigan I live in brown township in manistee county I know I could help u find some picking around here.how do I reaxh u.
Brooke Tajer April 11, 2011 at 03:57 PM
Hi Deanna, I encourage you to either email them or call them. Here is the info: americanpickers@cineflix.com or by calling 646-873-6257. Hope that helps!
Jenny Irvine April 12, 2011 at 12:02 AM
Very cool!! My husband and I frequently watch the show....we will be watching to see our great State :)
Don Schnitzhofer September 19, 2011 at 09:00 PM
checkout this awesome pickers page..http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/275137159177045/

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