Wooden Native American in storage
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Harrisburg sells Wild West treasures to service debts

The state capital of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, is groaning under more than $300m (£190m) of debt.

The small city of 50,000 people spent a fortune retrofitting a polluting incinerator. The plant works safely now, but earlier delays and cost the city heavily.

Meanwhile, in a leaky outbuilding of the old incinerator, Harrisburg is preparing to sell off some unlikely treasures - some 8,000 artefacts, most from the old Wild West.

From creaking stage-coaches to the ghostly skeletons of cacti, there is a bit of everything, including a wanted "Dead or Alive" poster for Jesse James, a horse's hoof from the battle of the Little Big Horn and a bag full of undertaker's equipment.

The BBC's Paul Adams was given a tour.

  • 16 Nov 2011
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