Shoppers turn out for widest yard sale

Published 10:41 pm Saturday, June 2, 2012

Linda Thomas browses a collection of items for sale at Sturdivant Hall Saturday. The sale was part of the World’s Widest Yard Sale. -- Taylor Holland

Everything from tuxedos to rubber duckies lined tables outside of Sturdivant Hall Saturday as volunteers from the house participated in the final day of the World’s Widest Yard Sale.

The group was hoping to raise funds to go towards the preservation and upkeep of the historic house, located in the Old Town district.

“There was a rush at first, and there’s been a steady stream of people all day, and I assume it’s because people are checking out other sites, working the whole trail,” volunteer Patty DeBardeleben said. “We were concerned that, had it been a rainy day, we’d have been in a really bad fix, but it’s been really nice and we’re very pleased.”

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Sturdivant Hall was just one of more than 15 stops in Selma’s portion of the World’s Widest Yard Sale, a more than 350-mile trail running from Phenix City to Cuba.

In recent weeks, volunteers coordinated a citywide collection of items they could sell at the yard sale. In all, the workers received furniture, linens, glassware, golf clubs, T.V.s and other items.

Linda Thomas, a patron at Sturdivant during the morning hours, said she and her sister were out shopping because they wanted to see the record-setting sale.

“My sister called me this morning while I was still asleep, so I got up, took a shower and got out,” Thomas said. “This is our second stop and we gotten some good bargains here. It’s been a good, successful day, but we’re going to keep shopping.”

Clara Olson and Myrna Hollis also braved the heat to shop at Sturdivant.

“We’re here because of Sturdivant Hall,” Olson said. “We come to everything Sturdivant does, so we’re here to support them. This is our first stop, we’re going to ride around, but we’re not looking for anything specific.”

“We’re not even looking for bargains,” Hollis added. “We’re just here to help out Sturdivant.”

DeBardeleben said she was unsure about how the inaugural yard sale would turn out, but she was hopeful the event would become an annual one.

“The house’s utility bills are high and the yard maintenance is expensive,” she said. “We have to pay salaries for the workers, when we have to paint it’s expensive. Everything you do with a house this size is very expensive to do, and it just takes a lot to keep it going in every possible sense of the word. We’re hopeful we can raise money through this. So far, we’re very pleased with the results.”