12 mile Yard Sale
Every year on the first Saturday in October, the lonely stretch of two-lane highway that runs along the north base of Clinch Mountain attracts more than 100 sellers and thousands of visitors looking for hidden treasures or bargains — or just an excuse to view the fall foliage.
The vendors will be located along Clinch Valley Road between the intersection of Route 70-N and Route 31 in Hancock County.
On a good year with perfect weather, there will be 100 or more sellers, and there’s no telling what someone is going to find.
Some of the usual items include tools, toys, furniture, electronics, knives, guns, homemade crafts and clothes.
People sell ducks, chickens, bunnies, puppies and kittens.
It’s harvest time and there are always produce, fresh eggs, honey and homemade food for sale.
Don’t be surprised if more than one vendor has a bunch of giant pumpkins.
Clinch Valley resident Karen Berg, who has been selling for the past four years, said she will have walnuts from her own trees among her wares.
A few tips for shoppers
Berg said, “If you see something you like, get it, because if you leave and come back later it will probably be gone.”
Conversely, she said if you make a pass through late in the afternoon, that’s the time to get the best deals because vendors are trying to sell everything so they don’t have to take it home.
“It’s a gamble,” she said. “If you see something you want but it’s higher than you want to pay, come back later. It might be gone the second time around, or you might get it for a better price. It depends on your luck, I guess.”
Berg’s other piece of advice: Drive slowly. Shoppers will be parked on the side of the road, and in and along the roadway, so don’t get in a hurry.
Although vendors usually begin setting up on Friday night, the official start time is Saturday at 8:30 a.m.
The Clinch Valley Volunteer Fire Department’s station on Clinch Valley Road will be selling fresh cooked breakfasts from before sunrise and into the morning to accommodate the early birds. Food vendors are expected to be serving meals, snacks and refreshments in various locations along the route.
Anyone interested in selling is encouraged to call event co-founder Lee Hoellman at (423) 272-4997 if they have any questions.
Hoellman can tell visiting sellers where they’re welcome to set up and where they shouldn’t set up. There’s no fee, but newcomers should know that not every property owner in Clinch Valley participates.
Native American Gathering
More than two centuries ago, Cherokee Chief Dragging Canoe visited the Amis Mill property near Rogersville frequently to trade with settlement founder Capt. Thomas Amis.
Dragging Canoe considered that his land and Amis a tenant, and in fact Amis was the only white settler the chief trusted enough to trade with.
Today Amis Mill is owned by a direct descendant of Thomas Amis, but this weekend the direct descendants of Chief Dragging Canoe will return to reclaim their land — at least for one day on Saturday.
The gathering will run from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
There will be several vendors selling authentic handmade items including tools, weapons, pottery, artwork and other wares.
Bring your lawn chair and stay a while. Among the activities throughout the day are Native American dancing, drumming, storytelling and games for children.
The Amis Mill Settlement is located at 127 W. Bear Hollow road just south of Rogersville.