Vendors, buyers hit U.S. 40 for national yard sale deals

HANCOCK COUNTY — The military canteens were lined up on the table.

They sat alongside stacks of military bags and neatly arranged clothing. Safety vests hung nearby; military weapons waited to be bought.

Randy Davis and his wife Beverly, of Greenfield, spent seven hours setting up military memorabilia from their former antique store in anticipation of the Historic National Road Yard Sale along U.S. 40. They set up shop in front of Beverly’s brother’s business along west U.S. 40 in Greenfield, hoping to earn a little extra money.

They’re both retired from their careers, but Randy still runs a small internet business selling military supplies.

“We came out here just to see if we could sell a little more,” Randy said.

They were among dozens of vendors who lined U.S. 40 in Hancock County as part of the 13th annual Historic National Road Yard Sale, an event that sees hundreds of folks set up shop along U.S. 40 from Baltimore to St. Louis to try to make an extra buck selling goods. It spans more than 800 miles, beginning the Wednesday after Memorial Day and running through the following weekend.

The event gives residents the opportunity to shop for bargains in the heart of Hancock County and gives vendors the chance to make a little money through sales.

Many organizations utilize the event as an annual fundraiser.

This week, Abby Hayes and her little brother, Avery, sold hot dogs and chips on Doug Schildmier’s farm along U.S. 40. Schildmier, a member of Zion Lutheran Church, allowed his church to use his land for its yard sale, and church members donated the items for sale.

They plan to use the proceeds to send the church’s youth group to a mission conference in July in New Orleans. The trip will cost at least $28,000 for 21 youth members and five adults to attend.

The Rev. Jason Taylor hopes the yard sale raises at least $5,000.

In addition to serving lunch to hungry patrons to make a few bucks, church members also sold hay wagons, cars and a myriad of other items, Taylor said.

Others set up tables full of treasures to raise money for trips, too.

Jeannie and Jerry Rader of Greenfield are veterans of the event. Every year, they spend the weekend making deals to raise money for their summer vacation. Anything they no longer use is considered for the sale.

“My goal is to clean out the garage,” Jerry said with a laugh.

Chuck Wallace, owner of Wallace Well Drilling along U.S. 40, used his business front to sell a myriad of items he no longer needs after downsizing his home earlier this year.

One of two large Indian statues had already been purchased Thursday morning, and MacDonald guessed the other would go quickly.

After all, one person’s trash is another’s treasure, he said.

“A guy just bought one of them about a half hour ago,” MacDonald said. “His wife said he could put it in his man cave to give him someone to talk to who would actually listen.”

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Kristy Deer is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3262 or