Lincoln man preserves city’s history in his home

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - He’s filled his home with so many antiques and decorations - a champagne chiller from the Queen Mary, a silver bowl from the Titanic, his 20 trademark Christmas trees - that he’s lost count of some of it.

Like the number of porcelain rabbits that seem to keep multiplying in his third-floor apartment.

And he’s hosted so many private parties and fundraisers that he’s lost count of some of those, too.

But the Lincoln Journal Star reports ( Jack Saltzman has kept records on all of the history he’s collected from Lincoln’s most prominent people, and places.

A pair of empire couches and an 84-year-old record player - “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” still on the turntable - from the Woods home on Sheridan Boulevard.

The chandelier from the family that opened Gold’s downtown department store.

A towering china cabinet from Bennett Martin’s home on South Street.

Silver service for 150, with a pair of serpentine-front cabinets, from the DuTeau home.

The mahogany coffee table that served as the governor’s desk - before Frank Morrison ordered its legs sawed short.

All of the furniture from the Presidential Suite in the old Cornhusker Hotel.

He looks around at his tables hidden by trees, cabinets filled with English silver, walls covered in Dresden china, floor-to-ceiling mirrors, his 50 years of gathering.

“I have things from all the old families in Lincoln.”

The collector and decorator started young, as a teenager in Tekamah. If you want antiques, his family told him, buy your own - because we all live past 100.

In Lincoln, he became a fixture at Dionne DeVriendt’s invitation-only estate sales.

“This was for the best of the best stuff,” he said. “A lot of people had wonderful houses with wonderful things, and they didn’t want a ton of people tromping through.”

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