Featured Story

Village shuts down former hardware store owner’s yard sale

Stuart Kogelschatz

Nearly a year after he closed his hardware store on Main Street in Greenport Village and held an auction to sell its inventory, Stuart Kogelschatz is looking to get rid of his possessions again.

But Mr. Kogelschatz has found that emptying out a barn he’s filled with hundreds of items over the past 18 years — including boats, bikes, stoves and other antiques — may take a lot longer than he initially anticipated.

Mr. Kogelschatz, who’s moving after he sells his home and neighboring barn on Front Street, had a permit to hold a yard sale over the weekend. But he was shut down within a day once village officials determined he’s already held more yard sales this year than village code allows.

“I’m moving outside Greenport Village and even though I’m not going to be here anymore I don’t want to leave on a terrible note,” Mr. Kogelschatz said. “I’m trying to do the right thing.”

Village code enforcement officer Ed Ward said he visited Mr. Kogelschatz’s property Saturday after a neighbor complained about parking congestion caused by the yard sale.

Although Mr. Ward said he found Mr. Kogelschatz had a permit for Saturday and Sunday, he determined during his investigation that it was only valid for one day.

According to village code, homeowners can host just two yards sales per year.

Mr. Ward said he had been at Mr. Kogelschatz’s previous yard sale on Aug. 21, which counts toward the two-sale maximum.

“Saturday was his second day,” Mr. Ward said. “Even though his permit was also good for Sunday, it was issued in error because the village official who issued it wasn’t aware he already had [a yard sale]. So the second day of the permit was revoked.”

Mr. Kogelschatz, who described Mr. Ward as being “very gracious” during his visit, said he’d held a yard sale previously to empty out his house after he found a buyer. At the time, Mr. Kogelschatz said, he planned to keep the barn and its contents.

When the deal fell through about 10 days ago, Mr. Kogelschatz found a new buyer who was only interested in striking a deal if it included the barn.

Mr. Kogelschatz said he’s happy the potential buyer is an architect who wants to preserve both the house and barn, which date to the 1850s.

His latest move comes nearly a year after he and an ex-wife, Therese, each announced plans to close their Main Street hardware store after nearly 25 years in business.

The couple had purchased the business from Bob White, whose father established White’s Hardware in 1930. Mr. White took over the store after serving in World War II and ran the business for nearly 50 years before selling it to the couple in 1990.

Mr. White, who still owns the building, initially hoped a buyer would purchase the hardware business and keep it as is. But he has said he’s happy to have Harbor Pet as a tenant. The boutique pet store moved into the space in February.

Mr. Kogelschatz said he’s looking forward to unloading many of his personal belongings and moving into a smaller space. He’s currently selling the rest of his possessions by appointment only, which the village code enforcement officer confirmed is permissible.

A friend recently gave Mr. Kogelschatz a book — “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo — that he’s been reading most mornings.

Although the village’s decision to shut down his yard sale has been burdensome, Mr. Kogelschatz said he still finds it enjoyable when someone visits his barn and takes an interest in an item.

“My family is all gone,” he said. “It’s a good time for me to move on and let it all find new homes, new life. This stuff will live on — just not with me.”

[email protected]

Top photo: Former hardware store owner Stuart Kogelschatz next to a steamboat’s wheel, which is for sale along with other antiques by appointment only since the village shut down his yard sale this weekend.

Here are some items featured at Mr. Kogelschatz’s barn: