Sidewalk, Yard or Garage, These Sales are Hard to Pass Up !

What’s your best deal that you ever found at a garage sale? Though I’m not what you call a yard sale addict, I do occasionally stop at one if it looks interesting. And I’ve participated in quite a few as a seller.

One of my favorite items that I’ve ever come across at a garage sale is a Saks Fifth Avenue throw. It’s lightweight and heavenly to use on a sofa when there’s a chill in the air. Woven in a snowy neutral shade and accented with fringe, it goes with everything!

I wasn’t looking for this item, just browsing a lovely yard sale at an impressive Wheeling home in the Hamilton Avenue neighborhood and came across the fringed blanket with some other linens.

Since I like fine linens and they are hard to come by new, I looked through the items and came away with this beautiful and warm blanket (virgin wool from Scotland!) and a fine, white linen tablecloth that was still in a dry cleaner’s bag! Well, I snapped them both up.

Both items I use often and enjoy tremendously when I think of all the money I saved buying pre-owned instead of new. Often, items like this are hardly used when found in the right sale and may have been given as a gift, so they are like-new.

Yard sale season is now in full swing now with neighborhoods everywhere getting into the picture and planning a sale of one sort or another.

Coming up soon is the semi-annual North Wheeling Sidewalk Sale, sponsored by the Victorian Old Town Association (VOTA). It takes place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday May 18, in the 600-800 block of Main Street.

This year the VOTA group is planning a lemonade stand and broom sale, too, that day, in conjunction with the Seeing Hand Society, which is located in the historic neighborhood at 750 Main St.

Lisa Singer is the current president of VOTA. She and her husband John have resided in the neighborhood for the past 19 years and she’s led the group for more than a year. She’s looking forward to the sidewalk sale and is hoping that many residents participate.

“You never know for sure how many will participate but we are trying to build it, so we hope everyone stops by,” she said. “We have lots of miscellaneous stuff. Of course, Thad Podratsky (another longtime North Wheeling resident, antiques collector and history buff) is a mainstay and will have collectibles for sale.”

Singer lives in a lavender colored historic home that she just loves. When I asked her what she collects she replied:

“I collect too much. But I really love old irons. I’m just crazy for them.” Sad irons remain popular with collectors and are the really heavy irons used long ago, prior to electric irons. These irons were often heated on a stove.

Singer’s group is an active bunch of historically-minded individuals that have done much to keep Wheeling attractive. Just last week Singer accepted the “Outstanding Efforts in Historic Neighborhood Preservation” award on behalf of the neighborhood association.

Through activities such as neighborhood cleanup days, historical tours and events, and Christmas lighting and caroling, this volunteer group demonstrates how much can be accomplished through collaborative action.

Soon, Singer said new Victorian Old Town street banners will be in place on light poles where the old ones have deteriorated, which is another project the group has been working on for a while.

But back to the sidewalk sale, keep it in mind and stop by to browse next Saturday.

You may even find me on the sidewalk, since my daughter Angie resides in one of the historic homes.

For comments or suggestions on local treasures to be featured in Antique of the Week, Maureen Zambito can be reached via email at or by writing in care of this newspaper.


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