Antiques with a southern accent in Cullman

Salvage has become an artistic endeavor.
Salvage has become an artistic endeavor.

CULLMAN, AL (WAFF) - Old toy cars, stained glass and a throne in the window might capture your attention, but once inside Southern Accents Architectural Antiques, you will find the real treasures.

It's a concept which began in 1969, according to proprietor Garlan Gudger.  "I started with my father taking me to antique stores, muddy junk yards, and salvage stores throughout the southeast on our family vacations."

He credits that "forward thinking" with finds like magnificent mantels, dramatic doors and chic chandeliers.  He says it involved what was going on at that point in time.  "The qualities of the materials in the early 60's and 70's were just nothing like this old craftsmanship of these pieces were," he said.

The business grew to a showcase focusing on architectural antiques.

Adventurers come from across the country and the globe to see Gudger's wares. Wendy Ulrich is a customer from Blount County. "I'm here looking for old finials to go on an antique bed that I bought - and they fit perfectly. They're not the originals, but they'll fit perfectly."

The Gudger family has turned salvage into an artistic endeavor.

Gudger described a hand carved door from Fayetteville Tennessee.  "It was built in the 1880's. It has got hand cut frosted glass that has a design," said Gudger.  "My doorknob collection is one of the best in the nation. There are doorknobs we collect with figural animals and faces. This is gold gilded with north wind faces from JFK's apartment in New York City."

Wrought iron fencing from more than a hundred years ago is outside. "All of this was blacksmith produced around 1880", added Gudger.

The store's craftsman can also help restore other people's treasures, like those of Roger Ong.  "These doors are going to Kentucky," said Ong. The craftsman replied, "I got to put the transom and then the door in and carve it out and I'll be through with it."

You never know what you're going to find in a place like this. It could be something like a brass door pull, something they don't even make any more. Or it could be a hand cut crystal door knob. It's a rare find and a lost art in Bobby's Bama.