Flea market boasts unusual finds

Published 10:03 am Friday, September 24, 2010

Aaron “Sarge” Black displays a baseball bat with the autograph Henry Aaron, (Hank Aaron) etched into it. Hank Aaron is known as the home run king beating Babe Ruth’s record. This bat is one of many items that Sarge has for sale at the little flea market located in Hanging Rock off of State Route 650. Others items include a trailer casket, a fishing reel from the late 1800s, many antique signs and much more. • THE TRIBUNE/JESSICA ST. JAMES

A trailer casket, simply a burial casket attached to a trailer, is an eye catcher to passersby as they pass the flea market located in Hanging Rock off of State Route 650. THE TRIBUNE/JESSICA ST. JAMES

If you’ve driven down State Route 650 in Hanging Rock recently, you may have noticed some interesting items for sale at the Hanging Rock Flea Market.

Most notably, a casket-trailer.

“There’s a lot of people that like my casket,” said Aaron “Sarge” Black.

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Black said his wife bought the casket from a funeral home that was going out of business several years ago. He decided to make it into something he could use now, rather than later. The casket is fastened onto a motorcycle trailer and is being used to haul some of his other treasures.

“You don’t hardly ever see a casket-trailer,” said Black.

He said his asking price for the multi-purpose casket is $1,500 although he said he is not excited to sell it.

“I hope everyday that I don’t sell it,” he said.

Black also has a plethora of antique items for sale at the flea market. The former owner of the Cannonsburg Flea Market has collected items from around the world since his Army days, more than 50 years ago.

“People like to buy junk and I like to sell it,” said Black.

Some of his more costly items include a fishing reel from the late 1800s and an autographed, Hank Aaron baseball bat. His asking price for each is $40,000.

He also has a late 1800s model wooden pogo stick, although he is not willing to part with it.

He also has a variety of vintage metal signs including Lionel Electric Trains signs, Southern Pacific Lines signs, Chevrolet signs and signs emblazoned with Elvis.

“Everything that you see on American Pickers I’ve either got or had,” said Black, who boasted a collection of thousands of Match Box Cars.

He even has an interesting fly ash tray. The wings lift up to reveal the tray.

“It’s kind of unusual even for that time period, because people didn’t particularly like flies,” said Sarge “It’s a conversation piece.”

He is asking $135 for the early 1900s piece.

Black’s casket may draw you into to the Hanging Rock Flea Market, but there are definitely reasons to stay and look around, said Faye Blankenship, owner of the property.

She said the market is open daily if vendors want to come and set up, but the big day is Saturday.

“Usually we have 10 to 15 vendors,” Blankenship said. “All the vendors say they are doing well.”

Blankenship and her husband, Dave, started the flea market back in June at the request of some friends.

“The property was just sitting there,” she said of her land on Private Drive 62. “So far it’s been real successful.”

There is no charge for vendors to set up and she said that anyone is welcome.

Blankenship also runs a concession stand on Saturdays with barbeque, hot dogs, chips and soda. She said that some people just come for Faye’s famous hot dogs with her homemade sauce.

Even if you don’t buy anything, Blankenship said that it is still worth the visit.

“It’s kind of a social gathering,” she said.

The Hanging Rock Flea Market will be open through October before it shuts down for the winter.

“We have a good time doing it,” said Blankenship. “You might find something you can’t live without.”