GAMBIER — Santa Claus and children everywhere would agree that this is no time of the year for a sleigh to go missing. In the grand scheme of things, an AWOL antique may not a big deal. But a family heirloom carries worth that runs deeper than its dollar value, so Mike and Sherie Mescher are holding out hope their sleigh will be home for the holidays.
Until recently, the Civil War-era sleigh in question was in storage at the Mescher Farm on Ohio 229 in Harrison Township. Like the 247-acre farm, the sleigh has been in the family for about 50 years. In June, the heirs of Fred and Ruth Mescher sold the farm to David and Miriam Hershberger of Holmes County. It was subsequently resold on Saturday at auction to Kenny Mason, a West Virginia farmer, sportsman and businessman.
According to the Mescher heirs, their June sales contract gave them until the end of the year to remove their possessions from the farmhouse and outbuildings, but with the exception of the cumbersome sleigh, everything was removed during the summer. Curt Yoder of Kaufman Realty and Auctions confirmed that the sleigh was in the barn when he took photos of the property in August or September, and according to the Mescher family they saw it as recently as late October. But when they went to pick it up on Nov. 10, it had been removed. They filed a theft report with the Knox County Sheriff on Monday.
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