690 miles of stuff: World's Longest Yard Sale gets underway

690 miles of stuff: World's Longest Yard Sale gets underway

August 6th, 2014 by Kendi Anderson in Local Regional News

Mikayla Cloud arranges decorative metal objects for sale by J. Alexander Home of Bethpage, Tenn., on Tuesday along U.S. Highway 127 in Signal Mountain in preparation for the "World's Largest Yard Sale," taking place through this weekend.

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

YARD SALE FACTS

• The sale officially begins Thursday and continues through Sunday.

• The majority of the route follows U.S. Highway 127 from Addison, Mich., to Chattanooga.

• The route continues through Lookout Mountain, Ga., to Gadsden, Ala., following the Lookout Mountain Parkway.

• The sale is 690 miles long and weaves through Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.

Source: 127 Yard Sale

Document: World's Longest Yard Sale Route

World's Longest Yard Sale route

Gabriel Cloud, left, and Mikayla Cloud carry a large chicken as they help unload items for sale Tuesday along U.S. Highway 127 in Signal Mountain in preparation for the World's Largest Yard Sale this weekend. They are helping make a display at the corner of Taft Highway and Timesville Road for J. Alexander Home of Bethpage, Tenn.

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

Vintage Rolling Stones and Prince records were among the first things that Florence Currie bought at the World's Longest Yard Sale this year.

Currie is helping her mom sell an eclectic assortment of goods at the sale, and is also finding time to shop. Her mom is just one vendor among about 30 set up on a spot known as "Mr. Henry's property" on the Signal Mountain leg of the sale.

The vendors at Mr. Henry's are just a handful of the people participating in the 27th annual event. The sale officially begins Thursday and continues through Sunday.

Shoppers range from locals to internationals, and they arrive at the sale on everything from bikes to buses.

In the Chattanooga area, vendors will line 93 miles of the Lookout Mountain Parkway and continue along U.S. Highway 127 on Signal Mountain. Vendors are set up at private residences and in clusters of rented space, like at Mr. Henry's.

"Mr. Henry has been renting space to us for years and years," said Sandra Cochran, a Cleveland, Tenn., resident who has been participating in the sale for 19 years.

Cochran walked among the vendors, most of whom she knows by name.

"I get a Christmas card from them every year," she said, pointing to a vendor a couple of tents down. "Most of us here selling are regulars."

Cochran used to run an antique store, but now sells buttons and jewelry at this sale once a year.

She began setting up her tent a week ago and started selling Saturday. She plans to remain set up through the end of the sale this weekend.

Some confusion about when the sale starts led some shoppers to think it began last weekend. Cochran said she had been selling all week to early shoppers.

David Meyers and his family live on Signal Mountain and made more than $1,000 last year by selling collected items from around their house.

"Our whole family just sits outside chilling in the shade with fans," he said. "It's really laid back and fun, plus we make good money and talk to strangers."

Meyer's fiancee, Martina Bell, is helping him with the sale. She said traffic stalls to a crawl on sale days.

"If you drive over 15 mph, you're going to crash," Bell said.

"Traffic is just an expectation for locals," said Faye Hitchcock, who has lived on Signal Mountain since before the sale began.

Drivers are looking at things for sale and not at the road, Hitchcock said.

Hitchcock says the yard sale is a "mixed blessing."

"The traffic causes problems, but I love to look at everything," she said.

Jim Collins, of Red Bank, is 84 and has been selling knives and other antiques at the sale for 21 years. He worries that the potential rain could affect the turnout, but said he and most vendors will keep selling even if it rains.

"This is just a hobby for me and a way to make a little extra money to play golf. Because of this, I always take something off the sticker price," he said with a wink.

Contact staff writer Kendi Anderson at kendi.anderson@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6592.