For $20, Valley man found treasure trove of political memorabilia

PEORIA, Ariz. (KSAZ) -- A Valley man spent $20 to buy the contents of a storage locker in Peoria, and inside, the man found a treasure trove of political memorabilia.

Now, all that memorabilia is up for auction.

"I leaned in and took a whiff and smelled," said Donald Smith. It was the smell of old that made him take a chance on the storage unit, which was filled with what looked like Christmas boxes and old files. 

"I said, 'I'll give you $20', and everyone else walked away," said Smith.

What Smith found, however, will blow your mind. 

"Jewelry, gold, gold watch, silver, Tiffany stuff," said Smith.

Many of the findings belonged to former California Congressman Henry Barbour.

"This is cool because its a 14 kt. Gold Elgin watch, along with a 14 kt gold knife, along with a chain connected to it," said Smith.

There's also a Civil War diary, as well as photos. Smith's favorite, however, is a gavel, because it was made from the White House, and there's an explanation inside of what everything is.

Erik Hoyer with EJ's Auction and Consignment in Glendale says this find, is one of a kind.

"You just don't find historical documents like this very often, especially in this situation," said Hoyer. He went on to say that some of the personal letters that are in there, Barbour kept a really good track. There are folders from 1926-1928, and those are all personal letters to Barbour from the what was known back then as War Department. There are also items from other congressmen, invitations from the President to come to the White House.

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