From apples to antiques and from baseballs to butter churns – it could all be found along the US 127 corridor this weekend. The World’s Longest Yard Sale stretches from its southernmost portions in Gadsden, Alabama, to as far north as Addison, Michigan. This annual event that began in Fentress, Tennessee, in 1987, found its way to Williams County in the last few years.
Vehicles line the roads along the US Route 127, and you had best be alert as cars crawl to a halt without notice as people spy the next garage or yard sale along the road, or spot a special treasure. Pulaski, Ohio, between Bryan and West Unity was one such area. Betty Johnson, who runs Pulaski Country Mercantile along with her husband John, was manning the tables outside with her daughter Kim Andres. She said that she was doing good business this weekend, and was meeting people from as far away as Ontario, Canada; Chicago, Illinois; and even Saint Louis, Missouri. She offered up porch swings as part of her merchandise.
Traffic moved as slowly as a big-city traffic jam in the small burg, as cars pulled in and out of traffic, and bargain-seekers piled vans and trucks full of their finds. There were many antiques for sale, as well as hand-crafted items, piles of clothing, and whole living rooms of furniture available.
Mo-Jo’s, known for its potato salad, was serving pork on a stick for the first time this year. Cashier Heather Moore of Pioneer said that the store, located on 127 between Pulaski and West Unity was very busy this year. She said she had non-stop business for most of the day.
Traffic slowed again as it approached the sales in West Unity. Paul Jodry, originally from Stryker, had a large selection of mostly new merchandise, which he brought up from Texas near the Mexican border for sale next to the old J & B Feed Company. He said that this year, people were buying mostly “little stuff” and have not been purchasing the more costly items. He said that people are looking for unique items. He brings his merchandise to lots of shows, and feels that the area could benefit by having area Chambers of Commerce or other organizations band together to create maps showing the location of garage sales in the county, and listing the type of goods that are available at each site. He feels that this would help people find the items for which they are looking.
In town, Penny Van Vlerah was selling a large variety of items, including a bright blue Corvette. She had met people from over 30 states, and almost every county in Ohio while tending to her garage sale. This is her third year selling during the event, and she said that a lot of people were coming down from Michigan. There were two women, one from California and the other from Idaho who were being sponsored by General Motor’s Corporation. They were travelling from the northern part of the 127 corridor to Georgia, and they were purchasing furnishings and decorations which would be used for a Habitat for Humanity house in Southern Georgia. There was probably enough furniture and décor in Williams County alone to be able to do that, and they could easily have clothed the inhabitants as well, and purchased cars for them too, if that had been part of the task.
Across the street, Pat Weber was selling vintage toys, which included Tonka trucks from the 1970s and 1980s. She said that this year was “clean out the attic year.” She had also met many people from Canada, and from such states as Washington, California, Florida, Maine, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Virginia. Diane Schneider from Columbus, but formerly from West Unity, set up her tent at the same location in order to sell her vast collection of new-in-box Barbie dolls. She had travelled all those hours to be able to be part of the US 127 garage and yard sales.
Whatever a person could want or need, whether it was purchased on a whimsy, or if it was a long-sought treasure, it could all be found this weekend at the World’s Longest Yard Sale this year.