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What Happened To The Colonel's Hoard On American Pickers?

Approaching 11 years on the air, American Pickers has withstood the test of time as one of History's most popular programs. The antiquing adventures of Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and Danielle Colby are as informative as they are entertaining, with each episode designed to maintain audience interest while simultaneously educating on the historical context behind their finds. From classic cars to retro toys, the team of pickers has checked out artifacts of all shapes, sizes, and eras, ensuring something for every viewer to enjoy. But, without Mike and Frank's coast-to-coast road trips and the handful of private collectors they visit prolifically, the show wouldn't be what it is today.

Since American Pickers began in 2010, the Antique Archaeology crew have steadily made connections with individuals and families throughout the United States. Some boast incredible collections of various trinkets that Mike and Frank can't possibly pass up, and others make big discoveries on their own that they'd love to send their way. One of the most memorable Pickers clients is the mysterious Bryan "The Colonel" Laird, whose treasure trove resides in East Texas. He made his American Pickers debut in the season 15 premiere, "A Colonel of Truth," and introduced the guys to his massive warehouse, known affectionately as the Colonel's hoard.

This stockpile includes a little bit of everything dating back nearly a century, acting as a mammoth time capsule of sorts. Although, given Laird's reclusive nature, and the fact that he hasn't appeared on American Pickers since 2016, one has to wonder what has become of his many antiquities in the years since. Here's what we know about the fate of the Colonel's hoard.

The Colonel's hoard hit the auction block in 2016

Considering the time and money the Colonel invested into his collection, one would imagine he continues to add to it to this day. However, that couldn't be further from the case, since Bryan Laird let most of his automobile memorabilia, general antiques, and more go on the very same day his appearance on American Pickers was filmed (via TV Trend Now). An auction hosted by Walt Cade on March 26, 2016 (via Facebook) saw the vast majority of the Colonel's hoard find new homes across Texas and beyond. 

As Cade told the Longview News-Journal around the time of the sale, "There's several cool pieces.[...]We've got signs; signs bring an enormous amount of money. We have, probably, a thousand lots here." He also recalls when the American Pickers stopped by, mentioning that "They come in, and they'll buy eight to 10 items," but they hardly made a dent, since, at that point, there were "tens of thousands of things" there, by Cade's estimates.

In terms of how Laird acquired the bulk of his items, Cade notes that he often attended auctions and obviously left empty-handed very infrequently. His resale of the items, in the same manner, was surely bittersweet, especially if there were any objects he felt a strong attachment to. Be that as it may, that didn't stop Laird from undergoing some dramatic downsizing, thus putting the legend of the Colonel's hoard to rest.