Matoaka auction

Eddie Pauley, the owner, broker and auctioneer of Regency Real Estate and Auction Company in Bluefield, Va., conducts an auction to liquidate all of the town of Matoaka’s assets.

MATOAKA — The former town of Matoaka is officially no more after all former town assets were sold at an auction on Saturday.

At the auction, assets such as heavy machinery, buildings and land plots were sold. While the atmosphere was solemn, the auction offered new beginnings with the selling of valuable machinery.

Princeton City Police Department purchased the former Matoaka police cruiser to add to their available cruisers. The 2016 Ford Explorer was purchased for $15,000, according to Lt. J.D. Halsey with the Princeton City Police Department.

“We found everyone to be very friendly,” Halsey said, “People knew that we were there and that we needed the cruiser.”

With the cruiser already fully equipped it should be rolling onto the Princeton streets within a few weeks. With Princeton in need of cruisers, the auction came at a perfect time and offered an exceptional price, according to Halsey.

“Everybody was great and allowed us to get it. We are very thankful for that,” Halsey said.

According to Halsey the cruiser only needs to be made legal for the department’s purposes, get new tires, and be marked with identifying decals. The decals set to be installed, ghost decals, are transparent reflective vinyl stickers.

Other items sold at the auction include a train caboose which was sold for $11,000. The sale of the caboose included the two plots of land beneath it. One of the hottest items up for auction, the former town’s backhoe, was bought for $25,000.

While the auction offered the opportunity for buyers to purchase goods at a cheaper price, the seeming end of Matoaka is quite somber.

“This is sad for the people of Matoaka,” Attorney Phillip Ball, of Smith, Lilly and Ball, PLLC, said.

Though the town is no more, the possibility of revitalization in the area is not gone. As buildings, such as the old town hall, were sold, there’s a possibility that the new owners could revamp the facilities.

“This is going to be a sad day in history but there’s a possibility that the people that bought assets might put something into it,” Ball said.

Contact Emily D. Coppola at

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