MILAN, Ill. — A set of century-old planters that were outside the Old Rock Island County Courthouse have a new home in Milan.
The two planters were delivered to Old Oaks Winery earlier this week and flank its outdoor ceremony spot.
The planters were built in 1894 in New York City and sat outside the old courthouse for over 100 years.
Owner Chris Larsen said he's had his eye on them since he heard the courthouse would be closed. He reached out to Rock Island Mayor Mike Thoms a couple of years ago about them.
"I was actually driving over the Centennial Bridge and we noticed them," Larsen said. "We just kind of thought it's a big, timeless piece that I mean, you can't get a company to make a piece like this anymore."
As soon as the courthouse demolition started, he said they reached out about the planters again. He found out that they had ended up in the hands of the American Pickers. According to Larsen, Robbie Wolfe from the American Pickers crew, was working with Valley Construction and was able to purchase the planters from them.
Old Oaks Winery was then able to buy the planters from the American Pickers for a couple thousand dollars apiece.
"Really, our main effort was just to try and keep them local, keep them in the area. There was some buyers from down south that were interested in them," Larsen said. "Having something that was tied to the area and historical, we just thought that it'd be a great fit out there and make a good ceremony spot."
The planters have a few broken pieces, so the winery plans to have an artist touch them up, but for the most part Larsen said they intend to keep them in their current condition to show their age and history.