2018-10-06 / Top News

‘Fall Into Christmas Rummage Sale’ Makes September Debut


Brian Schoenborn digs through a box of knives. The silver-plated utensils were donated by the Iroquois Hotel and were among the more popular items at the rummage sale. Brian Schoenborn digs through a box of knives. The silver-plated utensils were donated by the Iroquois Hotel and were among the more popular items at the rummage sale. Community Hall brimmed with clothes, shoes, glassware, furniture, and other household items during the first Mackinac Island Fall Into Christmas Rummage Sale Friday, September 21, and Saturday, September 22. The sale, which used to be held during the annual Christmas Bazaar, was held earlier this year to attract more shoppers and donors. Organizers Margo Hessler and Lisa Olson said they are happy with the results.

“This is the first year we moved the date in an effort to serve more people and make more space for the Christmas Bazaar,” Mrs. Hessler said.

The Fall into Christmas Rummage Sale opened its doors Friday evening, but before the sale began, some of the antiques and more expensive items were promoted online, allowing shoppers to coordinate directly with donors. As of Saturday morning, Mrs. Olson said about half of the revenue was generated through pre-sales.


Fall into Christmas Rummage Sale organizers Lisa Olson (left) and Margo Hessler enjoy a busy day at the Community Hall Saturday, September 22. Fall into Christmas Rummage Sale organizers Lisa Olson (left) and Margo Hessler enjoy a busy day at the Community Hall Saturday, September 22. The sale allows residents, cottagers, and seasonal workers to get rid of unwanted items, which is difficult and expensive.

An essential aspect of making the event successful, said Mrs. Hessler, was help provided by Mackinac Island Service Company, which collected items from all neighborhoods for two days. Drays made 23 stops one day and 25 stops another.

“The dray drivers went above and beyond the call of duty,” she said, “and helped us unload, and some of the city workers helped, too.”

Volunteers spent organized the items at Community Hall loading tables and filling racks of clothes and linens. The stage was covered in furniture and other household items, including a new sink still in the box. Iridescent blue Fenton carnival glass, a helmet worn by a lineman who helped build the Mackinac Bridge, snowmobile helmets, and even a horse saddle.


Volunteers included (from left) LoAnn Calandrino, Wilma Green, and Polly Redman, who is wearing a shirt and headband she found at the sale. Volunteers included (from left) LoAnn Calandrino, Wilma Green, and Polly Redman, who is wearing a shirt and headband she found at the sale. Businesses also donated items to the sale. One popular draw for shoppers was silverware from the Iroquois Hotel. Shoppers could get the silver-plated utensils at a bargain $5 for five pieces. Brian Schoenborn, owner of The Birches, was among the shoppers who pur chased the silverware for his employee Callie Cummins.

“I’m in search of butter knives for Callie,” he said, as he crouched down and dug through a box of utensils.

Tourists Lance and Ruth Brower of Rockford collected some odds and ends that caught their eye. Carriage House mugs and antiquelooking glass candleholders were among the treasurers they found. They visit at least every couple of years, Mr. Brower said, and the items will remind them of their time here.

“We were just walking down the street and saw the sign” for the Rummage Sale, Mrs. Brower said. “We are always antiquing. Now, we just have to get them across on the boat.”

“It’s been great to have the tourists,” Mrs. Olson said, “and the donors have been fantastic.”

Shoppers could purchase bags in various sizes for their purchases. Mrs. Olson would negotiate with shoppers for the cost of antiques and other items that were priced individually.

Special canvas commemorative bags that featured artwork by Mackinac Island third grade student Jordan Fisher were also available for $15. All the students in the elementary school competed to have their designs appear on the bags, Mrs. Hessler explained, noting art teacher Heather May facilitated the competition in art class. Each student was asked to draw what Mackinac Island means to them, and Jordan won with his drawing of a turtle.

Next year, she said, the rummage sale could be held earlier in September for the benefit of international workers.

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