ATHOL - The backroads and byways of rural Thurman are expected to be busier than ever this weekend as the town's community sale draws hundreds shoppers to browse through collectibles, antiques and household goods stashed in barns, on porches and spread out on local lawns.
]The Thurman Townwide Sale, a staple attraction in the region since 1996, is to be held Friday May 13 through Sunday May 15.
There's a wide variety of goods to be offered in the sale judging by pre-registrations submitted, event organizer Perky Granger said. The sale list includes a Victorian commode, wooden Radio Flyer wagons, jewelry, garden seedlings, perennials, toddler togs and toys, vintage Tupperware, NASCAR items, electronics, maple products, camping gear, boats, tractors, trucks and much more. One resident will even have a For Sale sign on a small pony, she said.
"People in Thurman have some amazing stuff," she said. "There will be miles of smiles and bags of bargains."
The 60 registered sellers will likely be joined by dozens of others throughout town, she continued.
Driving through Thurman - an expansive hilly, woodsy town with winding roads and only about 1,200 residents - offers an adventurous excursion, she said.
Around every turn of a byway, there's a town resident eager to delve into a conversation with visitors, she said.
Family antiques and collectibles are likely to spark tales about the town's rich history or experiences growing up in the lower Adirondacks, Granger said.
One of those residents is Ruth Near on Dartmouth Road, Granger said. She's likely to be sitting at her home with Mary Cranker at her side, greeting people and tossing out gems of philosophy as the two sell rhubarb, linens, glassware, scenic photography, handmade goods or household items, Granger said.
"Ruth is one of Thurman's official ambassadors," Granger said. "People come back here every year just to see Ruth and Mary."
Visitors and bargain-hunters come from a remarkable distance for the annual sale, Granger said, noting that guest books that some sellers set out have recorded visitors from Montreal, and south toward New York City.
"This event is really a fun thing here in Thurman," she said, noting the sale will be held rain or shine, 9 a.m. until whenever.
Thurman's largest hamlet of Athol is six miles from Northway Exit 23 via state Rte. 418. Maps with directions to phones, food and rest rooms, as well as lists of some articles for sale, will be handed out at sales near entrances to town. The maps are also online: www.persisgranger.com/thurman_townwide_sale.htm. No gas is sold in Thurman, Granger warned.
"Drivers should fill their tank before leaving the real world for our slice of Heaven," she said.
Over the sale weekend, Realtors will be hosting many open houses, a new feature of the event. Also, the Thurman ambulance squad will open its doors on Saturday to meet the public, offer hot dogs and hamburgers plus rest rooms and free blood pressure checks.