PLATTE COUNTY – From the northern foothills of Hartville to the bluffs of Chugwater and all points in between, last weekend was a chance to give weary travelers a welcome break from the monotony of the long drives as Platte County hosted Treasures Along The Platte which was a countywide garage sale.
The garage sales that stretched within the borders of Platte County and even spilling over into Goshen County at Ft. Laramie not only provided a chance to shop at multiple garage sales and downtown locations, but also gave tourists and travelers who were heading up and down the I-25 corridor a chance to see all the beauty that Platte County has to offer.
It showcased the towns and countryside which featured the best of Platte County and gave not only a hint at treasures gone by that were for sale on table after table, but allowed locals and tourists to sample both the cuisine and the hospitality that epitomizes the term “Wyoming Friendly.”
The little town of Hartville had tables and booths set up throughout the town of 64 people with an impressive display of trinkets and treasures that people just couldn’t resist. Although Friday brought in the very warm temperatures, it also brought some challenges such as a power outage that hit both Guernsey and Hartville around 10:30 a.m. and kept the inside businesses dark for several hours.
It didn’t affect those who had come to peruse the outside sales, however and campers and trailers, some from as far away as Florida packed their vehicles with Platte County treasures. One woman from Tennessee found an item that she was convinced had been owned by her grandmother in the ‘40s said that “God had sent her all the way to Wyoming just to recover a family heirloom.”
Whether the event was divinely inspired is pure speculation, but one of the promoters and owner of The Wandering Hermit from Wheatland said it was the best turnout in the history of the event.
“We started this five years ago,” Brecht said. “The first year it was just Wheatland and we called it the I-25 Street Market, I think. Then Chugwater joined us the following year and we kept the same name.”
According to Brecht, the ultimate goal was always to make it countywide.
“Platte County Mainstreet is being about a countywide thing,” he said. “Then, two years ago, we met with the Guernsey folks because they were doing one of these every year too. We decided that we should all do it on the same weekend. Then it marketed as a bigger thing.”
Guernsey had already been doing their town’s garage sales in conjunction with Ft. Laramie.
“At that point, it became a little beyond Platte County,” Brecht said. “If we can make this continue to happen down the road, we’d like to have it expand all the way from Cheyenne to Wheatland, Glendo, maybe Lingle and Torrington too. We would kind of like to be like the “Junk Jaunt” in Nebraska.”
The Junk Jaunt is a Nebraska tradition and takes garage sailing to another plateau. It usually is run the last full weekend in September. www.Junkjaunt.com
“This is our best year,” Brecht said. “We have over 60 vendor/garage sales in Wheatland alone. Chugwater’s got, I think, six and Slater’s doing theirs at the community hall.”
Chugwater also had the newly opened Merchantile general store set up with people who could come and sell things from their Main Street location.
The sale went from Friday-Sunday and weathered the heat with many sales providing ice cold lemonade or fruit punch such as the Amber Cheesman sale in Guernsey. The increased use of social media also helped to promote this event on an individual basis.