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Treasure-hunting One Street at a Time

(Originally published in Newburgh Heights Living, Autumn 2021 issue)

You never know who you might spot at Newburgh Heights’ Citywide Garage Sale.
Maybe former Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s brother will be browsing a table of power tools. Or maybe you’ll meet a state champion player of Monopoly the board game, purchasing an old-fashioned iron (her favorite Monopoly token).

You certainly never know what you might spot at the annual event, especially with dozens of households participating and sales on nearly every street in Newburgh.

Village Council member Dorene Kray says “Some years we get 10 people, some years we get 50” taking part, and this year Newburgh Heights felt like going big.

The enthusiasm was evident well before the sale officially began on Friday, August 6. One seller had customers browsing while she was still setting up, an hour before the official 9 a.m. start. Other sellers were ahead of the earlybirds; “I’ve been up since 4:30” in the morning, confessed Diana Lenz. Another resident said that she had started setting up on Wednesday.

“It’s a lot of work to get rid of junk,” said Sharon Lowe, although one person’s junk is another person’s treasure.

The variety at this year’s sale was remarkable. Wares on offer included everything from vintage furniture, handmade earrings, clothes, tools, and motor oil, to DVDs, records, and even 8-track tapes. Some sellers went still further to offer something unique, for example touting CashApp or Zelle as payment options. One sale advertised credit card payments accepted, plus free local delivery of furniture.

The Housing and Building Department added to this year’s variety with its first-ever salvage sale. Department Commissioner Kristine Pagsuyoin said that as some of the Village’s older housing has been demolished, in recent years, her department wanted to preserve parts of Newburgh’s past.

The result was a whole new category of architectural and other objects for sale: lighting, ironwork, leaded glass, a set of porch steps, doorknobs, a TV, the sculpture of a large marlin…

Finding new homes for life’s odds and ends takes work, but at day’s end it’s the essence of every garage, yard, or salvage sale. Observing one shopper arriving with a tape measure, Building Department employee Addie Jensen remarked “That’s what we like! Someone who knows what they want.”