The Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Auction takes place annually on the last Friday in June. The sale begins at 8 a.m. sharp, and continues throughout the day with a team of auctioneers taking bids under several tents and in the field. This event, which benefits the Bird-in-Hand Fire Company, has evolved into a wonderful day in the country. Equine and antique enthusiasts, consignors, local residents, out-of-town visitors, and whole families look forward to our auction each year.
The auction truly has become a destination for family outings. Because the sale is located in the picturesque village of Bird-in-Hand, it is a safe and accessible place to bring children and grandchildren. They delight in watching the miniature horses feed in their stalls and are amazed as handlers drive them around the grounds during their morning exercises. Families can wander between the tents at a leisurely pace and stop and enjoy the bidding. Eating breakfast and lunch at the food tent is a highlight of the day since the menus are family-friendly and the food is locally made.
A wonderful spirit of cooperation is alive and well at the Carriage Auction and it spreads all over the grounds as the local community and out-of-town visitors come together to support the Hand-in-Hand Fire Company in this major fundraiser. The auction is a place where people are drawn together for a common cause. Many have brought items to sell, others have come to buy, and still others are part of the large network of volunteers who make the sale possible. Everyone, including passersby, gets caught up in the community spirit of the day.
The vision of the auction is to provide a market for both consignors and buyers, raise funds for the Fire Company, and create a community event bringing all kinds of people together. We are excited that it has turned into a destination for many travelers. Our wish is that the auction will maintain high standards and continue to offer quality items. Our goal, now and in the future, is to make the day enjoyable for everyone.
The Lancaster County Carriage and Antique Auction began in July of 2000 when Weavertown Coach Shop hosted the National Carriage Makers' Reunion in Bird-in-Hand. Jake King and Elam Petersheim wanted to clean out the corners around the shop and their barns where extra items had accumulated. With potential buyers coming to the area for the reunion, Elam and Jake scheduled a small sale on the day before the get-together. The news of the auction spread by word-of-mouth and 60 other people brought consignment items. It was a successful day and a fun addition to the reunion.
Those who attended the sale encouraged Elam Petersheim, a local antique dealer, Jake King, and Paul Stoltzfus of Leola Coach, to make the auction an annual event. For seven years the auction was held at Elam Petersheim's farm on Belmont Road east of Gordonville. The auction grew steadily every year and the sale presently attracts up to 2,500 people who come from all over the East Coast and from places as far away as Texas and California. Three to six auctioneers are busy all day from 8 am till as late as 5:30 pm, taking bids from approximately 840 buyers.
In 2008, the sale moved to the Village of Bird-in-Hand on land made available by the Smucker family. Proceeds now benefit the Bird-in-Hand Fire Company. The sale has remained a quality auction with 150-175 carriages sold on consignment as well as quilts, collectibles, antiques, tools and other quality merchandise. Its mission as a good, clean consignment auction selling quality merchandise has not changed. The goals are to continually strive to be fair and ethical, grow the auction by attracting both buyers and sellers, and at the end of the day, have many satisfied people leave the grounds with their pickup trucks and trailers full of quality purchases.
Tax season is over, the flowers are blooming, and it's time to spring clean! Consider consigning some items for a good cause. Click here for 2015 consignment info & form!