Penryn becomes ‘Mudville’ for a day

By on March 19, 2014

Dabadabadabadabadaba… going once, going twice, sold!

The rambling sound of auctioneers filled the air on Saturday for the ninth annual Penryn Mud Sale. There were at least a dozen of them, auctioning everything from quilts to buggies, furniture to garden tools, flowers to a life-sized “cow.”

“I’m not quite sure what someone would do with that,” said Mike Myers, who was standing near the antiques tent, where the plastic black and white cow stood, awaiting its new home.

mudThe cow was among the more unusual items being auctioned at the day-long event that drew as many as 4,000 to buy and sell.

Set each year just before spring, the Penryn Mud Sale was indeed muddy. Most people wore boots and the mud was thick and deep in some places. It was better than last year, when it snowed.

This year’s mud sale hinted of spring to come, with temperatures nearing 50 and a blue sky with wind-tossed fluffy white clouds. One of the most popular auctions sold flowers, trees, bushes and plants.

“Just in time for spring planting,” enticed the auctioneer, as he held up yellow daffodils and other spring blossoms, which were eagerly bought by winter-weary gardeners.

Nearby, another auctioneer was holding up a white ceramic rabbit garden decoration that looked a lot like the Easter Bunny.

Garden tools like shovels, hoes, rakes and trowels were in high demand. Later in the afternoon, the farm equipment went on the auction block with wagons, plows, bales of hay, buggies and carriages up for sale.

The entire day benefits the community. Fire chief Shannon Martin reported that the sale was expected to raise as much as $20,000 to benefit the Penryn Fire Company and the Limerock Parochial School.

mud3Several young students of the Amish school were on hand to help out, loading items on wagons and carrying them to their purchasers. The wagons also made a good perch from which to watch the bidding.

All across the grounds of the Penryn Fire Hall, the voice of Dick Matin could be heard. He called himself “The Voice,” and he called out to let people know that fresh baked pies could be purchased at the sale, or that chicken corn soup was hot and ready to go. Nearby, a huge ice cream maker churned away on the back of a wagon.

“Get your homemade ice cream,” called Martin, which quickly drew children and their parents for the old-fashioned treat. With pie perhaps?

Besides the secret recipe Penryn chicken corn soup, there were lots of other foods like hamburgers, hot dogs, subs, sausage sandwiches, pork and chicken barbecue. There were also food wagons featuring apple dumplings, French fries and doughnuts. The pizza was popular too, made not by Italian pizza makers, but by Amish girls quickly serving the cheese and tomato slices.

Proceeds from the sale will not be finalized for several weeks, reported Martin, noting that it is one of the primary fundraisers for the Penryn Fire Company #1. The other benefactor is the LimerockParochial School, which receives funds for supplies, maintenance and other needs.

mud2Among the highlights of the auction were a 856 International tractor, a 100 bushel McCurdy bin wagon and an 18-foot farm wagon without gear. Farm animals included bull calves, ponies and pigs.

Furniture included a five piece oak bedroom suite and an oak roll top desk, as well as antiques such as a country store oak curved glass 12-foot showcase, a large oak six-door ice box, a zinc top baker’s table, wooden hay fork, cast iron mechanical penny banks, sauerkraut crocks, a wooden stave butter churn and a wicker Haywood Wakefield baby buggy.

There were also playhouses, swing sets, lawn furniture and an outdoor daisy bench set with a glass table top. Quilts in many patterns were a big draw, including maple leaf, log cabin, star, flying geese and flower basket appliqué.

The weather was perfect and the hum of the auctioneers meant that the sale of consigned and donated items would give an extra boost to both the fire company and the school.


Laurie Knowles Callanan, a veteran freelance writer, got her start in the newspaper business when she was hired as a general assignment reporter by former Record Express owner Bob Campbell. Rumor has it, she was first in line at the ice cream wagon on Saturday.





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