Jim Halverson shares some photos today from “Amish” garage sales in northern Indiana. Garage sales are popular in the community, as they are in other places. Amish both attend as shoppers and put on the garage sales themselves. And these aren’t just single-family sales.
Topeka has a city or area-wide garage sale every year in the middle of May. This year it was May 11th and 12th. It gets advertised in Die Blatt and The Peoples Exchange and they put out maps of the garage sale location. Shipshewana also has a big garage sale. This year it was May 12 and 13. Starting in April or May and going thru the summer there are also neighborhood, multi-family sales.
There were sales at both Amish and English homes, but I think most were at Amish homes and I think most of the shoppers were Amish women and many with kids in tow. Most of the sales were held in garages or attached buildings and some basements. They were monitored by the women and girls. I did not see any where one would go inside an Amish home.
Quite frankly, the Amish garage sales are pretty much the same as the English. The only difference is that I will go to an Amish garage sale. I even stay away from the city-wide sale we have in Frankenmuth! It’s just the cultural intrigue for me and a chance to visit and have a cup of coffee and some baked goods.
Most of the things I saw for sale were typical of a garage sale anywhere – books, toys, tools, plants. The big differences were the battery powered lights, Amish clothing, coppa and bonnets. And, of course, instead of cleaning the garage and moving the car out of the way, they would clean the garage and move the buggy out of the way.
One note about Topeka that is interesting. They have city-living Amish, but still have room for the horse and buggy.
These photos were taken both this and last year at sales in the area. We hear a lot about the better-known “sales”, aka auctions, which Amish hold in a variety of venues and situations (school benefit auctions, relief sales, weekly horse auctions in some communities, estate sales, moving sales, and so on), but less about the good old-fashioned garage sale.
Nice to get some views of how it looks in this, the third-largest Amish community in the country.
Inside the garage view.
Like other sale events, a garage sale is a time for socializing and enjoying oneself.
Looks like this family made out pretty well.
I remember seeing garage sales often enough growing up, but didn’t go to them too often. I can’t remember that my family ever put one on (though maybe it wouldn’t have been a bad idea!). I can understand the draw as to what you might be able to find there – and the attraction of a chance at a good deal. Certainly that is part of the appeal. I guess you never know what might turn up at a garage sale.
Thanks to Jim for this look at how Amish do garage sales in this Indiana community.