Unique items — including old Paxton milk bottle — to be sold at Community Sale

PAXTON — As the old cliche goes, one man’s trash is another’s treasure.

Trash or treasure, the annual Paxton Community Sale, scheduled for Saturday, April 6, at Coady Park, promises to make some money off a wide variety of items, according to lead organizer Brad Strebeck of the Paxton Park District.

“As good as last year went, I’m expecting quite a bit more this year, depending on weather,” Strebeck said. “As good as last year went, I think this year’s going to be probably double the items that we have last year. It was pretty full last year.”

Last year’s community sale — the first in 10 years — resulted in auction sales of almost $19,000, as an estimated crowd of more than 1,000 patrons showed up  and 427 registered buyers purchased items from 67 consignors.

The most expensive item sold last year was a $560 mini-chopper motorcycle.

This year’s sale should feature an item that is less mobile — an old milk bottle unearthed in Paxton by a consignor.

Believed by Strebeck to have been made in the 1920’s or 1930’s, the milk bottle contains Paxton’s old phone number — 433.

Back in those days, phone numbers only contained three digits.

“It’s a nice old piece of Paxton history. I think it’s going to be very desirable for residents of Paxton,” Strebeck said. “Hopefully, Paxton residents get wind of this and come out to see what it is and try to own a piece of history.”

Strebeck said he plans to get the milk bottle sold at noon Saturday, April 6.

“We’re going to kind of just stop things and sell this at noon,” Strebeck said.

The milk bottle, Strebeck said, has gained a lot of interest already — including inquiries from out-of-state patrons.

There’s a lot of interest. I had some lady contact me from Tennessee that used to live here,” Strebeck said. “She said, ‘I can’t make the sale, but I’d like to put an absentee bid in.’ I said, ‘Sure.’”

Not-for-sale items include dogs, cats, firearms.

Of course, Strebeck said, a few vehicular items would not hurt.

“We’re hoping to get motorcycles, farm equipment — hopefully, some vehicles,” Strebeck said.

With the exception of a few items — including, but not limited to, dogs, computer monitors, firearms and used mattresses — Strebeck said consignors at the community sale will be selling pretty much anything.

“Anywhere from household items to antiques,” Strebeck said. “We had some farm equipment last year. There were trees there. down rabbits and chickens and stuff like that. lawn and garden. pretty much anything people want to sell with us.”

Smaller items will be sold on hay racks. Members of the Paxton-Buckley-Loda FFA chapter will be on hand to help move and display items for sale.

There will be four auctioneers this year — up from three last year — all running at the same time in different areas. Strebeck said he hopes the extra auctioneer will help as he predicts a larger number of registered buyers this year.

“I think there will be, hopefully, double that we had last year,” Strebeck said.

Of course, it may be hard to top the sales of the original Paxton Community Sale in 1961, when an estimated 7,000 people attended the event and over 1,600 items were sold for about $20,000.

“I heard this was the biggest community sale in the nation,” Strebeck said. “I don’t know if it’s true, but it was definitely the biggest one in the state. Community sales were very popular back in the day. Every town had a community sale. Most of them went away, but if you talk to anybody, Paxton’s was the community sale to go to.”

There will be a service unavilable at that time and last year that will be located near the pool this year — free recycling.

Attendees at the community sale will be able to recycle electronic goods such as computers, cellular phones, microwave oven and video game players for free thanks to COM2 Recycling Solutions.

The Paxton Dog Park Committee will also be on hand via booth at Coady Park to raise funds.

As well as auctions, the park district will also hold a flea market with what Strebeck estimated to be about “10-12 vendors.”

"I think it’s a good addition. It’s something different,” Strebeck said. “If you don’t necessarily like the auction and your spouse does, they can go there and you could go shop at a flea market. We’re trying to make it a whole community event with something for everybody. Last year, we went from people selling antiques at the flea market to homemade wood crafts to scented candles and stuff like that.”

Among the food items offered at the community sale — there will be five food vendors — will be Holy Smoke Barbeque in Champaign and an unidentified “pie lady,” both of which were sold out last year.

“We’ve got great food,” Strebeck said.

Of all the money raised through the auctions, the park district will receive a 15-percent commission. From that cut last year, the park district raised about $3,500.

“Everything stays within the park district,” Strebeck said. “Whatever profit we make will go towards the community sale or anything else within the park district.”


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