Check Out What’s In This $3 Amish Auction “Junk Box”

Reader Denise Joyal sends a report from a benefit auction which took place in May in Hopkinton, Iowa. While there, Denise purchased a $3 “junk box” – and by the looks of what was inside, she got a great deal! Let’s check out what three Washingtons can get you at an Amish auction these days.

First, here’s the newspaper ad for the auction. It was to benefit members of the community who lost three children and a husband in a van rollover. This was the accident that was reported back in February in central Iowa.

Apparently there were a lot of donations and the event was deemed a success. Denise also shares a photo of the benefit dinner meal itself, which she describes as “So delicious!”

Now let’s have a look at the junk box.

The “Junk Box”

This “junk box” is a grab-bag of items. These are all things that would be very useful in an Amish home. Here’s what Denise got for three dollars, if you can believe it:

You can see here we have what looks like a lot of thread, several dozen spools. People who know thread will probably be able to comment more on what we’re seeing here:

About a half-dozen mason jars, and probably five dozen bands and lids:

And two large pots with lids:

This comes out as a deal that’s hard to beat. Finally, here is Denise’s buyer’s ticket:

Maybe you have had a similar experience at an Amish auction. In any case Denise’s “junk box” doesn’t look like it was full of junk after all, quite the opposite.

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    1. Ann of Ohio

      Box is wonderful

      That big gray pot is the kind used for water bath canning. I have one. The box of spools is great, the box itself is fun (I know, I’m a woman of simple pleasures), it looks like it has slots in the middle for sewing machine bobbins.

      I wonder what the green handle thingie is.

      1. Ann of Ohio

        Oh I figured it out

        The green thing is a magnet for picking the steel lids out of the boiling water where they have been sterilized.

    2. Central Virginian


      Many of the thread spools in the sewing box are wooden and therefore likely old. Plastic spools have been used for the past 40 – 50 years. The quality of thread manufactured a generation ago is usually better than what’s available today.

      1. Myriam

        I can confirm! I bought a 1905 Singer sewing machine a few years ago, and got a box full of supplies with it, including wooden thread spools. The quality of the thread is unlike anything I’ve bought before, even from good brands.

    3. Karen

      Treasure trove

      Wow, she got a great deal!!! The big blue pot looks like a hot water bath canner, and the lids and jars are great. The sewing kit contains some small handsewing thread and embroidery thread. Perfect for some mending needs

    4. Alice

      Junk box?

      Wow, that was quite the prize! Those are some old spools of thread – they don’t come on wooden spools anymore – just plastic. And those canning supplies aren’t cheap!