The Drive: Newell, West Virginia Miles: 110 Shhh!: To find out the exact dates for Homer Laughlin China Co.’s Thursday through Saturday sale, kept secret until September, call 1-800-452-4462 or visit www.homerlaughlin.com.
Think you can hold your own against know-it-all enthusiasts wielding dollies and camping out overnight to be at the front of the line? This October, head for Newell, W.Va., just across the Ohio border. Be ready for aggressive, competitive crowds when the doors open at 10 a.m. for the semi- annual warehouse sale at the Homer Laughlin China Co., creators of the most iconic brand of American dishes: Fiestaware.
The retail outlet is stocked with newly manufactured, lead-free dinnerware, not collectibles. If you’re not shy about elbowing your way through Fiestaware fanatics and stacks of merchandise, you just might snag a sunflower yellow sauceboat and a cobalt blue platter for prices so low ($13.50 total, as opposed to the regular $43 ticket price) you feel positively righteous about also picking up a set of chili bowls, a covered casserole and an irresistible little persimmon-colored relish tray.
Sturgis House Bed & Breakfast in nearby East Liverpool, Ohio, is 15 minutes away via toll bridge and has six rooms with private baths. One has a small kitchen, and a third-floor suite sleeps four. The restored Victorian mansion was once a funeral parlor; the body of Pretty Boy Floyd, Public Enemy No. 1, was brought here for embalming after the gangster was killed in 1934. www.sturgishouse.com