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Racine County Man Featured on American Pickers

An upcoming episode of the hit antique show "American Pickers" features a man from Racine County, a Union Grove collector, whose love is preserving history.

Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, AKA the Pickers, travel across the country in search of unique finds they can buy from collectors. This time they came to southeastern Wisconsin to meet Gerald Karwowski.

There's plenty to pick from at the Oak Clearing Farm. Karwowski started out by collecting old bottles.

"I don't have the biggest collection or the craziest collection, but there's a lot of history in here from Racine County,” Karwowski said.

Over the years, he's collected everything from ancient pictures to old books. One thing he loves to show people is a photograph of Abraham Lincoln before he was President. The oldest item in his collection is a book from 1697.

Crews from the "American Pickers" spent nine hours on the farm.

"It's like validation. They said, you're a regular junk man, Jerry. But it goes a little further than that. They call me a historian and generally if someone has a question about this area, I can pretty much answer it or guide them in the right direction," Karwowski explained.

In fact, when the Pickers found out about his love for “all things local,” they shied away from the Racine County antiques.

But they didn't leave without making purchases. Mike bought some bikes and Frank found toys.

"American Pickers" taps into Karwowski's passion and he hopes his episode results in others catching the collecting bug too.

"These American Pickers are doing more to promote local history in the U.S. and all over the world than anybody else," Karwowski said.

You can watch the episode featuring Karwowski Monday, January 30 at 8 PM on the History Channel.

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