Stretching 824 miles from Baltimore to St. Louis, the National Road — known as U.S. 40 through Indiana — will soon be the host site for perhaps the longest bargain market in the country.
The Historic National Road Yard Sale begins Wednesday and continues through June 3 for its ninth year of bringing attention to America’s first “super highway.”
In the Wabash Valley, several vendors are planning to set up booths in grassy lawns and on downtown sidewalks along U.S. 40 during part or all of the five-day event.
Orbie Latta Bryan, who operates longtime family businesses, Latta Mobile Home Park and Latta Apartments in Seelyville, said she intends to host vendor spots along U.S. 40 as her brother has done in the past.
With about 130 people living in the rental neighborhood, Bryan said, several of the residents may have items to sell and closets to clean out.
Bryan said she and her family recently moved from a large house in Rockville to the Seelyville area, so they have plenty of extra furniture to sell.
“We have enough stuff we could probably set up a booth all summer,” she said laughing.
The Friends of Seelyville community group hopes area residents will take advantage of the five-day sale.
“We’ve been doing this for three years,” Friends member Wayne Langman said. “Last year, we let everyone set up where they wanted to, and that worked.”
On Friday, Langman was posting signs and fliers around Seelyville to encourage residents to participate in the yard sale. The Friends first hosted the event as a fundraiser and to promote community spirit.
In neighboring Clay County, several vendors are expected along U.S. 40 in the Brazil area.
East of Brazil at Harmony, Kelly Murphy said he plans to set up an outdoor booth in front of his business, the Harmony Diner.
“We’ll have barbecue and chops, and other stuff,” Murphy said.
Last year’s sale was popular and good for business, he said. He’s owned the diner for more than a year, and he also sells the Historic National Road Yard Sale Cookbook, published by Dublin, Ind., resident Patricia McDaniel.
While she hesitates to call herself the “president” of the yard sale and says she is not part of the Indiana National Road Association, which promotes tourism and travel along U.S. 40, she does admit to organizing the yard sale for the past nine years.
She has contacted many of the businesses and vendors along the highway who have participated in past yard sales, and she knows the hot spots for bargain-hunters. The Friends Church in Plainfield usually has an “ideal setup” with restrooms and food sales. Several other churches in communities along the highway rent table or booth space to vendors who don’t live along the well-traveled route. Church officials say they’ve found that to be a good fundraiser.
McDaniel operates Old Store Front Antiques in Dublin, near Richmond, and she uses the business’ website — www.oldstorefrontantiques.com — as a clearinghouse for information about the yard sale.
Rather than compete with traffic and travelers over the Memorial Day weekend, including race fans heading to and from the Indianapolis 500, McDaniel chose to schedule the yard sale to begin the Wednesday following the holiday. Still, some people get a jump-start on the sale date, she said, and that’s fine by her.
Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at (812) 231-4254 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.