Fortna readies for weekend Hershey factory auction

December 12. 2012 10:00AM - Last modified: December 12. 2012 10:24AM

Jim T. Ryan

This weekend, thousands of items instrumental in producing Hershey's chocolate products over the years will go up for auction as Dauphin County-based The Hershey Co. clears out its historic factory on East Chocolate Avenue.

Fortna Auctioneers & Marketing Group will be auctioning off 2,000 to 3,000 items per day this weekend at the site of the old Hershey factory. Photo/Amy Spangler

The company responsible for managing the auction is Annville-based Fortna Auctioneers & Marketing Group, and it's prepared for a busy weekend, President Michael R. Fortna said Tuesday.

His firm is looking at auctioning off between 2,000 and 3,000 items a day, from large machines that formed the backbone of Hershey's production during the last century, to the tools that helped keep the lines working, Fortna said.

His advice to those who will attend: "Be patient, because there will be a lot of people there."

Attendees should remember to bring proper identification and payment for the auction, he said. Out-of-state checks will not be accepted, but major credit cards will.

Fortna Auctioneers is holding a preview of items Friday, and the auction kicks off Saturday morning. An agenda of items to be auctioned will be available so attendees can plan their day, Fortna said.

Additional information about the auction can be found at Fortna's website.

The Derry Township factory that the chocolate company's founder Milton Hershey built in 1905 is cleared for demolition. Hershey moved its production to the newly expanded West Chocolate Avenue facility this year. The modern facility will help it expand internationally, the company said.

Hershey trades its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol HSY.