Unlike a Jan. 29 auction of Ku Klux Klan memorabilia–which brought out demonstrators, national media, and gained notoriety for a Howell, Mich., auctioneer–Sunday’s auction of the estate of former Michigan KKK Grand Dragon Robert Miles failed to cause a stir. Maybe it was the rainy weather, but the sale at the Ole Gray Nash Auction came and went like any other auction on the premises, reports the Daily Press and Argus. Owner Gary Gray said last week that he downplayed the auction so it wouldn’t cause hysteria in the community.
Miles and his wife, Dorothy, lived in Cohoctah Township and held rallies that included cross-burnings. He died in 1992. The New York Times reported that two black satin Klan robes fetched a total of $6,000, and a letter to Miles from Alabama Gov. George Wallace brought in $160. The auction also included some of Miles’s extensive book collection, whose disparate items included “Mein Kampf,” “The City and the Pillar” by Gore Vidal and a collection of Ansel Adams photos. In January, Gray’s auction of 10 Klan outfits caused controversy in the community, which is still fighting the reputation for racism, earned in part because Miles lived in the area. On the night of the auction, dozens of protesters circled the auction house but no arrests were made. That auction generated more than $24,000 in sales.