Hilco Trading held the first of several auctions at Sparrows Point Steel Mill on Jan. 23, selling off equipment and tools that once helped run the steel mill. Inside the carpenter’s shop, woodworking equipment, machinery, and hand and power tools were arranged to be sold. At the back of the shop stood lockers scattered with uniforms, cans of soup, school photos of kids and posters of playmates from a different time — remnants of a former life. Here’s a look at some of the personal items left behind at Sparrows Point.
Sparrows Point auction brings hundreds to buy mill’s pieces
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun
8:28 p.m. EST, January 23, 2013
Hundreds of people gathered on site and online Wednesday for the first public opportunity to buy the silenced remains of the Sparrows Point steel mill — from forklifts and slab haulers to cabinets and snowblowers.
Among the hopeful bidders: welders, scrap dealers, equipment resellers and steel companies, some as far flung as Egypt and others just down the road.
“We’re doing some purchasing to help with our expansion,” said Stacy Casey, project manager and bookkeeper for Tiemann Construction, a welding company near the mill. Getting equipment at auction seemed “cost-efficient — unfortunately at the loss of Sparrows Point. But somebody’s going to buy it anyway.”
Illinois-based Hilco Trading, owner of everything at the Baltimore County property except the land itself and some of the buildings, expected to auction off about 1,600 lots of equipment over Wednesday and Thursday.
That doesn’t include several hundred lots the company is selling through a separate, online-only auction of tools that ends Tuesday.
“This is probably one of the largest steel auctions ever conducted,” said Stephan Wolf, a managing partner of Hilco Industrial, the arm of the company that liquidates manufacturing plants and similar facilities. “Without question, a lot of equipment here.”