Every once in a while, Rich and I get a wild hair, and we devote an entire weekend day to treasure hunting. We either go to every garage sale available in our area on a Saturday, or we go to every Good Will store in our area on a Sunday. It takes a full day to do this, y’see. You can’t do both and get through either thing while really integrating yourself into the treasure hunting spirit. This may be something we end up missing out on when we move to the boonies of Northern Idaho, but a monthly trip down to Coeur d’Alene for some good suburban treasure hunting might not be an out-of-the-question activity to consider.

Last Sunday we hit a whole slew of Good Will stores from Upland to Montclair, and picked up a few extremely fun treasures:

  •  A bunch of matte (as opposed to shiny) Ansel Adams prints, framed and matted and very complimentary to one another: $4 each
  • A black and white print of an ollllld building, by a photographer whose name I can’t make out. Signed, framed, matted and matching the Ansel Adams prints: $4
  • A silver tea service (platter, carafe, cream pot/bowl thingy, and a sugar bowl) with some pieces broken on it (handle of the sugar bowl is gone, and one of the legs is gone on both the sugar bowl and the cream pot), and the whole thing is starting to tarnish. I plan to put this in my office/the girls’ room, and Rich promised to fix the broken bits for me. Nothing says shabby chic like a silver tea service with a little bit of tarnish on it, and really, how often do you find REAL silver in a thrift store?: $30
  • A piece of wood art with the Declaration of Independence silk screened onto it. How ironic to find the DoI in the “donate” pile for a thrift store in California. Still, I had to buy it for the library: $3
  • A VERY OLD shoe-shine box in perfect working order. Smells like wood oil and leather. Going in as a decoration in the living room: $8
  • 14 square, thick bar glasses: $14
  • A hard copy First Trade Edition of The Dark Tower (book VII in the series): $3
  • A very old, very thick, and very gorgeous 10″ cast iron skillet. Rich told me the name of the company, but I can’t remember it off the top of my head. They don’t make them like this anymore: $7

And while I didn’t pick the rest of this stuff up, I was impressed by it, and couldn’t believe what I was seeing:

  • A gorgeous, white pine bed (headboard, footboard and slats). Full sized: $130
  • An absolutely beautiful, and absolutely hand-painted set (102 pieces) of fine china (I would have bought this if I wasn’t already in possession of my grandmother’s fine china): $150
  • A suede couch with practically no wear on it at all (no animal smells, no stains, no tears) VERY comfy and overstuffed: $130
  • An ornately carved mahogany wood trunk: $80 (needs some fixing, though)

It’s like the Good Will stores around here have turned into a veritable plethora of amazing treasures. I almost can’t wait to go back and do this again when we get closer to closing on the house!


11 Responses to Treasure Hunting For The Homestead

  1. The cast iron skillet was a Griswold.

  2. Sunni says:

    Griswold is one of the best names in cast iron. You guys done great! I kind of miss those “scavenger hunts”—it’s so fun seeing what turns up for next to nothing.

  3. Fritz says:

    Great finds, especially that skillet.

  4. eric says:

    aint nothin more fun than a treasure hunt

  5. Rook says:

    The Skillet is a amazing find. Just do a search on Ebay for Griswold #10.


  6. archer says:

    My son and I hit up the local Salvation army, saw a guy walking around with a full length scythe for $6. Started talking to the guy carrying it, the label was old style block print and partially worn away. Must have been 100 years old. I’d have bought it for the history, was worth $6.

  7. Dawgus says:

    I’m an admitted Goodwill Junkie. We have one about 1/2 mile up the road, and I hit it at least once a week. I haven’t had any great finds for a while, other than some jeans. NO WAY I could pass up new (tags still on) insulated LL Bean jeans in my size for $6! They had 4 pair and I got them all.
    Maybe it’s different out your way, but I’ve noticed Goodwill raising prices over the past 2 years. When I used to be able to find cast iron skillets for $5-10, they’re now $20-30. I don’t expect them for a dime, but c’mon, it’s Goodwill. Really?

  8. Derek (Zef_66) says:

    Hey Tiff (and Rich),

    Just catching up on your blogs and was pretty psyched reading about your adventures (as well as blunders) in searching for a new homestead. But the overall picture is simply wonderful and absolutely amazing for you two. Can’t wait to read more as you move progresses and your new lifestyle starts!

  9. soupbone says:

    A 10″ Griswold Skillet?!? I have one of those – got it from my grandmother. As of late, one of my granddaughters has been eying it -”Cassius has a lean and hungry look.” – which would make it, let’s see now, her great-great grandmother’s skillet. A little something to pass on – and use – over the centuries.

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