Stilly Pioneers clear out their garage with annual sale
August 27, 2008 · Updated 5:22 PM
ARLINGTON The Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum hosted an assortment of Americana available to own at the associations annual garage sale April 28-29.
Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Association President Dick Prouty estimated that the first half of the sales first day drew more than 500 shoppers, who had a wide variety of books, clothes, furniture, home decor, toys and even some electrical items to choose from.
Prouty recalled that the sale had previously taken place twice a year, and acknowledged that the age of the SVPA members had played a part in the event being ratcheted back.
As our membership grows more mature, it becomes harder to put on, Prouty said. We couldnt do it without a lot of the younger volunteers who help us do the moving.
Fellow SVPA member Bill Senica explained that theres no set sales goal for the event, but elaborated that it does provide revenue that allows the museum to stay in operation by covering the costs of its maintenance, insurance, utilities, taxes and other overhead.
Senica figured those expenses run at a minimum of approximately $17,000 a year, while Prouty recalled that last years sale generated close to $8,000, and hoped that this years event would do roughly the same. They commended the generosity of donors who have furnished them with items such as cars, boats and camping trailers over the years.
Many patrons of this years sale were first-time customers, such as Arlington residents Bill and Karen Gillam.
I love old books, especially from the 1930s and 40s, said Bill Gillam, before holding up one selection from the shelves. Theres this old law book for laymen, written in the 1920s. You can read and see some of the changes between now and how it used to be. Its simple but cool.
Johanna Olsen and Lynn Gray came with children in tow. Olsen claimed that Gray dragged me along, eliciting laughter and mock protest from Gray, but Olsen eventually admitted to her own interest in such sales.
Our kids have plenty of toys to choose from, although we usually limit them to one each, said Olsen, also a first-time patron of the SVPA sale. Theres always something that you never knew you always wanted, if that makes sense. There are all these random things that people get rid of that you can get for cheap.
Unlike Arlington natives Olsen and Gray, Carol Workman came all the way from Stanwood to check out the sale, while her husband walked their dogs along the local trails.
My husband has been looking for a magazine rack, Workman said. I could go for some clothes or a cordless phone. Theres a lot of variety to choose from, and its such a beautiful weekend.
Jerri Brummel was attending her second SVPA garage sale, but shed also had Senica for a teacher. Now that shes out of school, shes running her own daycare center in the area, and she cited the event as an excellent source of inexpensive toys for her children.
This is where you find the little things that you need, or least that you want, that you cant find anywhere else, said Brummel, grabbing a baking pan while she examined an assortment of candleholders. You can get goodies worth $30 marked at only 50 cents.
As Sheena Hensel rung up her purchases, with one-year-old daughter Tayla-Rae and three-year-old son Van already playing with their spoils from the sale, she agreed that the event was a chance to turn trash into treasure.