‘American Pickers’: Has Mike Wolfe Always Lived in Historic Houses?

by Jonathan Howard

For the last 10+ years, Mike Wolfe has been known as the American Pickers guy. Finding rusty gold wherever he goes and paying cash for it. One of the things that most people don’t know about him, he has spent most of his adult life in historic homes. Wolfe spoke to Preservation Magazine about his love for old houses back in 2016.

While Mike Wolfe doesn’t buy houses on American Pickers, he buys about everything else. He usually buys items from inside old houses, though. But, as far as owning them, Wolfe definitely has a type. when asked if he had always lived in historic houses, he kept it simple.

“Everywhere except my first house. The second house I bought was an 1854 riverboat pilot’s house in Le Claire, Iowa,” Wolfe said. When he decided to move into that house, his neighbors didn’t think he knew what he was doing. “Everyone in Le Claire thought I was nuts,” but Wolfe doesn’t do things that are normal.

According to Wolfe, the house was just too nice to pass up. “But you should have seen this thing. It was Italianate style. It had the most amazing staircase. Pine floors.” When he puts it that way, it sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. For the American Pickers star, it was not.

“I sold that one and bought another riverboat pilot’s house, where I lived until I bought this 1860 general store in downtown Le Claire,” Wolfe said about his other home purchases. Imagine living in two riverboat pilot houses in the same area. If anyone would do it, it’s Wolfe.

‘American Pickers’ New Season, New Picks

With a new season of American Pickers, the show is going to more picks and finding more great items. Recently Mike Wolfe went on a pick, out in South Carolina. There, on a large property with multiple shipping containers, Wolfe found tons of unopened, factory Volkswagen parts. The pick ended up being successful. By the time it was all said and done, the Pickers came away with a Ghia and dozens of parts.

While that was going on in South Carolina, Danielle Colby was picking in Eastern Kentucky. In a house full of small collectibles like marbles, figurines, and hat pins, Danielle was at home. She and her picking partner Robbie found lots of great items that they paid cash for to the nice old man who owned them. It was a wholesome pick that ended with Colby leaving with some very interesting pieces.