PREBLE COUNTY — Travelers from near and far gathered last week along Preble County’s stretch of U.S. 127 to rummage through hidden treasures branded with the age of time and others with more recent furnishings.
Beginning Wednesday, Aug. 7, driveways, yards, barns, garages, and patios opened to unveil items for sale to wandering patrons interested in whatever caught their interest. The World’s Longest Yard Sale, also referred to as the “Corridor Sale,” stretches from five miles north of Addison, Michigan, to Gadsden, Alabama for a total 690 miles. While many shoppers are from the county on Preble County’s stretch, other licence plates in the area featured locations such as California, Nevada, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Indiana.
Vendors, primarily from throughout Preble County, gathered to offer their collectibles. Glassware, lanterns, wrought-iron tools, wooden clogs, bookshelves, dressers, televisions, picture frames, and even a VHS copy of “Jumanji the Movie” represented decades of wear and tear and glimpses of the past, all for a marked-down price.
Beginning at sunrise, shoppers and vendors alike had until Sunday, Aug. 10 to make their final offers until the event rolls around again next year. The event’s website, www.127yardsale.com features opportunities for visitors to plan their four-day weekend by offering information such as maps, brochures, lodging options, and vendor information.
Milwaukeean, Bill Regan, stopped in Preble County on his way to meet a friend in Alabama, with whom he shares his passion: motorcycle-collectible items. “I knew this was happening, so I thought I’d swing by,” Regan said. As a former 23-year employee at Harley Davidson in Milwaukee, Regan continues his interest for the motorcycle by shopping in Preble County.
Long-time antique collector Wayne Brooks has been in the business for 40 years and has experienced Preble County’s antique-collecting community. Brooks said various members of the community will contact him when an older relative goes to a nursing home or passes away, as they often have collectible items in their possession. “I go buy everything they’ve got,” Brooks said. “That’s why my variety is a little bit of everything.”
Dave Osborn, spotted in Preble County, is from Pendleton, Indiana. He said he and his wife retired in 2013, giving them the time to explore more yard sales. “She’s always wanted to do this,” said Osborn of his wife. The pair traveled to Preble County, taking Interstate 70, and came south.
“I told her we can go as far as the back of the car will hold,” Osborn laughed and said they were close to capacity. The two came with a mission in mind, however, redecorating their two grandsons’ bedroom to match a baseball theme. This isn’t their first yard sale rodeo, however, Osborn and his wife recently attended the State Route 38 from New Castle and the 40 East yard sale from St. Louis onward. “Being retired now, we can do what we’ve wanted to do,” Osborn said.
Nancy Crocker of Nashville, Indiana, said she came to Preble County’s stretch of the yard sale to amp up revenue for her antique shop in Nashville. The look she aims for for her merchandise is “vintage, but I like the rusty, crusty stuff, too,” she said. Another aspect of her shop is her ability to “up-cycle”, or making new items out of old items. Crocker was to finish her experience this year in Frankfurt, Kentucky, near a distillery.