MARY ESTHER — Shoppers and curious onlookers have a chance to see and even own pieces of Destin's past during the ongoing estate sale for the late Imogene Kelly.
Imogene, the oldest daughter of Coleman and Mattie Kelly, was an active member in the Destin community and her love for the finer things in life is apparent at her estate sale. She passed away on March 8 at the age of 80.
The estate sale began Wednesday at the Santa Rosa Mall in Mary Esther.
“It’s astronomical how much stuff we have. We can’t really put a number on how much money the estate sale will make,” said Gulf Coast Estate Liquidators’ Sharee Ayotte, who organized the estate sale.
Bernarr Kelly, Imogene’s older brother, is the last remaining child of Coleman and Mattie Kelly.
The Kelly family moved to Destin not long after Imogene’s birth in 1936. Coleman Kelly bought up large swaths of land that he originally used to farm turpentine.
That land eventually would become Kelly Plantation and much more.
The estate sale features artwork, jewelry, furniture, clothing and many other items. The two most expensive pieces at the estate sale is an emerald cushion-set ring priced at $250,000 and an 11-karat yellow diamond for $220,000.
“We have done four-star general sales, but this estate sale eclipsed them all. This is the biggest sale we have ever done,” said Ayotte. “The clothes, furniture and sculpture pieces just shows how big her personality was.”
The first sale will run through Aug. 26. The second sale is set to begin on Sept.6, with discounts from 20 to 50 percent. All items are priced with the fair market value, Ayotte said.
“Some estate sales typically have a style that person might of liked, but she had a little bit of everything, which makes it a very special estate sale,” said Ayotte.
Checking out the unique jewelry pieces Imogene used to wear, Joan Romano said she's an estate sale shopper and always get alerts for where the next big sale will be.
“This sale is amazing and totally over the top. I have never experienced something like this before,” she said.
Romano said Imogene had a lot of beautiful pieces and good taste for expensive things.
“She had a lot of huge pieces decorating her home, like a bronze turtle sculpture I just saw. … I have never seen so many different huge pieces before in an estate sale,” she said.
Frances Newberry just moved into her new home in Navarre and decided to stop by and see what she can buy.
“I love old things, especially when somebody has lived at their place for so long. I like to see how they decorated their homes,” she said.
Newberry said these sales are also a great bargain.
“Many of these pieces are very intriguing and can hold a lot of history,” she said. “It’s just makes it more fun to decorate my home.”
For more information about the estate of Imogene Kelly, call Gulf Coast Estate Liquidators at 850-582-7347.