Amish auctions are wonderful places to visit for people wanting to experience Amish culture first-hand in a relaxed, fun atmosphere. The Milroy auction is actually held on the grounds of the Amish school. So you get to see the building. Children - Amish and non- were playing on the school's playground equipment. Plenty of Amish were mingling with non-Amish. It's just a wonderful cultural exchange.
We met one man who finishing strapping a buggy he bought at auction onto the back of a flatbed. The buggy was going back with him to his home in Berne, a settlement that has close familial ties with Milroy. Interestingly, though, the buggy won't stay in Berne long. The man and his family will soon be moving to the Wheat Ridge Amish settlement in southern Ohio (one of my favorites). Those are two settlements that don't have a lot of exchange or cultural commonalities, so I found that is interesting. Anyway, it is not everyday you see a buggy on the back of a flatbed.
Milroy is not a huge Amish settlement (4 church districts) so it makes sense that the majority of attendees at the auction were non-Amish. Still, there were buggies galore parked behind the school. The Amish that did come came from as far away as Berne (two hours to the north) and Kentucky to the south. Horses were hitched so they could munch on the tender spring grass and enjoy each other's equine companionship.
The quilt auction was interesting to watch. And the prices varied greatly. The only thing I wish I had found out was whether all the quilts were Amish-made. It shouldn't make a difference, I suppose. A beautiful quilt is a beautiful quilt, but there is something special in the craftsmanship of Amish quilts (and, no, the old saying about all Amish quilts having one slight - deliberate - imperfection in them is more tourist myth than reality). I saw one wall hanging going for around $20, and a full quilt was starting at $275. This is a consignment auction so the public is welcome to bring stuff in to be sold and that often includes quilts, although I am sure at least some of the quilts being sold were Amish-made. I am posting some pictures and using some face-blurring tools. I don't think blurring the faces really takes away from the photos, but I'm also not certain that there are really any reasonable privacy expectations for an auctioneer at a public auction. Any thoughts?
Tomorrow I'll share a last look at the auction and post more about the food there!