Now that Matoaka is no longer an incorporated town, a number of items associated with the former municipality are heading to the auction block. This includes a police car, a backhoe, office furniture and even a railroad caboose.

In May of 2018, residents of Matoaka voted to disincorporate their small municipality after more than a century of existence. Now the plan is to sell the town’s remaining assets. A public auction has been scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 24 at the old Matoaka Town Hall.

Auctioneer Eddie Pauley of Regency Real Estate and Auction Company in Bluefield, Va, will be presiding over the event.

Pauley, a well-known and long-time auctioneer, admits that he has never auctioned off a caboose. He says auctioning off a town’s assets also will be a new experience.

“No, sir. I’ve been doing it for 37 years,” Pauley told the Daily Telegraph last week. “I’ve sold a police car, but this one has the radio and everything’s ready to go. I’ve never auctioned off a caboose in 37 years, but there’s a first time for everything. Some people say they would like for it to be left in the town, but it’s part of the assets.”

The old Norfolk Southern caboose seems to be generating a lot of interest. 

On the internet, cabooses – in some cases dubbed the next thing in tiny houses – are selling for $3,200 to $12,000. But area residents have a chance — if they are auction savvy — to get one at a potentially cheaper price on Aug. 24.

It’s not everyday that you can buy an old police car, too. 

 “They’ve got a pretty nice police car that a lot of police departments are interested in,” County Commissioner Bill Archer added last week.

The town hall and police department are being auctioned along with a public address system, chairs, desks, a backhoe, a dump truck, a snow blade and other items, according to Pauley.

The money raised by the auction will be used to help pay off the town’s creditors, Archer stated.

It is sad to see the former town’s assets heading to the auction block. But voters have spoken, and the town is no more.

The upcoming auction is a chance for area residents to own a part of Matoaka’s history. And a caboose as well.