Auction underway


ROCHELLE – As the City of Rochelle moves forward with its plan to demolish the Hickory Grove Banquet Hall paving the way for a new developer, Bearrow’s Real Estate and Auction Company is auctioning off many of the buildings contents. 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the auction is being held online from July 30 until Aug. 20 at 9 p.m. The auction can be reached by visiting and clicking on the Hibid link or by going directly to 

Once on the website, individuals can look through multiple pages of items, bid on them and even keep track of specific items by putting them on a watch list. There are many different items for sale ranging from Rochelle memorabilia, banquet hall furniture, kitchen items and much more. 

“There is everything from framed memorabilia of original buildings in Rochelle as well as memorabilia of John W. Tilton who was the original developer of the building,” Rochelle mayor and owner of Bearrows Auction Company John Bearrows said. “There are also many banquet and kitchen items such as tables, stackable chairs, grills and walk-in coolers and freezers. There is truly something for everybody.” 

The main goal of the auction is to clear out the inside of the building as well as raise funds for the future project. All of the funds raised through the auction will be put toward the demolition or other expenses related to the project.

The city is currently working on securing an Illinois Rebuild grant to help fund the project. If the city is able to secure the grant, demolition of the Hickory Grove building will begin next spring; if the grant is not secured, the demolition project will begin this fall. 

“The goal is to get the building built and raised to provide a shovel ready site for a new developer to come into town,” Bearrows said. “Having a new business develop in town will also help bring new jobs with it.” 

The online auction is live through Aug. 20.

“We just encourage local folks to participate in this auction to gain a piece or two of memorabilia as well as help fund the future development project,” Bearrows said.