The Amish community at Ellenboro, North Carolina is having an auction next month – the first annual sale for the five-year-old Swartzentruber settlement. What’s neat here is that the auction company has taken extensive photos of the things up for sale, posting over 100 photos online.
The Amish are not “frozen in time”, as they are often labeled. But if one group of Amish were to come close to that idea, it would be the change-averse Swartzentruber people.
Swartzentruber homes and technology are about the plainest you’ll find in Amish society.
So a lot of these items are things you might have seen in an American farm home 50 or 100 or more years ago.
I combed through the photos and found 10 interesting household items up for sale. Some are from the kitchen, some are useful implements from other parts of the home, or even practical “decor”. I’ve included where and when to attend the auction at the bottom (it’s being held in nearby Shelby, NC).
10 Interesting Items from a Swartzentruber Amish Auction
1. Griswold Dutch Oven Oval Roaster
There are quite a few cast iron items listed, including several from the Griswold Manufacturing company.
This was an Erie, PA company which operated from 1865 to 1957. That would mean that these items at a minimum are 60+ years old.
2. 25-Gallon Wash Pot
A wash pot, I learned, is a bit of a misnomer. It can be used for heating water for washing, and is also used for cooking purposes like rendering lard. I don’t think the pile of saws comes with this one.
3. Maytag Wringer Washer
This wringer washer looks like it’s seen better days, but is listed as being in “Good” condition on the website.
It may have once had a paint job, but no longer:
4. Roman Eagle 6 Eye Cook Stove
“6 Eye” refers to the number of burners on this cook stove.
These black cast iron stoves are common to Swartzentruber Amish kitchens (here is a photo of another).
5. Grandfather Clock
While Amish generally are not known for their interior decorating, one decorative thing they do have in their homes are timekeepers – sometimes rather fancy ones.
Grandfather clocks are often seen in Amish homes. This is one of several wooden clocks for sale.
6. Yarn Spinning Wheel
This looks like something you’d see in a colonial-era scene. Some Amish do spin their own yarn.
7. Corn Stick Pans
To be frank I never knew something like this existed. I first thought that these were holders for fire-roasting your standard corn-on-the-cob.
But of course the uniform shape of the cast iron impressions would not work for irregularly-shaped corn.
It turns out corn sticks are in the corn bread family. They sound absolutely delicious.
Not sure how this corn-based food flew under the radar for me, for so many years. Must try soon.
8. Light Fixtures
Do these look “Amish” to you? Me neither.
Nonetheless, it seems someone from the community is selling these oil-burning light fixtures.
9. Mystery Grinder
I can’t figure out what this contraption is used for. Grinding something, it appears. Any help is welcome.
10. Singer Pedal Sewing Machine
The Singer name is synonomous with these classic treadle sewing machines.
While more progressive Amish tend to buy more of their clothing ready-made, in a plainer Swartzentuber home a sewing machine is bound to get a lot of use. You’ll notice some fancy painted designs on the main unit.
There are many more things to be auctioned, including more household items, as well as farm implements and tools.
NC Amish Auction Details
When: Saturday, November 23rd, 10 AM
Where: 1783 Rehobeth Rd. Shelby, NC
Auction web address: http://auctionsunlimited.us/1st-annual-amish-auction-sat-november-23rd-10-am/
If anyone attends, I hope you’ll let us know how it goes.