EXCLUSIVE HOME TOUR WITH MIKE WOLFE

The host of American Pickers is making himself right at home in a cozy Leiper’s Fork bungalow.

WRITTEN BY: ERIN B. MURRAY
PHOTOGRAPHERS: KRISTIN BARLOWEmike wolfe, antique archaeology, leclaire, american pickers, vintage tee, vintage home decor
When Mike Wolfe bought his house in Leiper’s Fork, it might have been the first time in his long career as a “picker” that he didn’t try to negotiate the price. Unlike most of the “rusty gold” he seeks out on his History Channel show, American Pickers, the 5,100-square-foot gem, which sits on 32 acres of woodlands, was priced just right.

That’s not to say that the house was in perfect shape. “Every inch of it needed paint, a lot of it needed flooring,” he says, but structurally, he saw the beauty in the details. “When I looked at this house, within like five minutes I go, did Bill Powell build this house?” he says, referring to William Powell who owns an eponymous home and garden store in Franklin. “He’s been dealing in antiques since the 70s and started buying property. Now he’s one of the area’s most prominent builders,” Wolfe explains. The two have been friends for years, buying and selling antiques together—the fact that Powell built the house sealed the deal.

Wolfe is an intense talker, quick to tell a story, just as he does on his show, jumping from a recording session he was recently thrown into with Emmylou Harris and Ricky Skaggs, to the custom-made screen doors he’s installed throughout the house. Careful to self promote in all the right places, he’s also the kind of guy you want to sit and have a few beers with just to hear more. “I always wanted to tell stories and give items a voice. That’s why I started the project,” he says about his show. “I was so entrenched in my idea and my passion that I never thought it would be the success that it is.”

But success is what he got. The show fetches more than four million viewers a week and syndication has made it the number one show in Asia and given them a huge following in Europe; the History Channel also recently launched the franchise Australian Pickers. At the Nashville outpost of his store, Antique Archaeology (the original is in Wolfe’s hometown, LeClaire, Iowa), about 200,000 fans walk through every week. And some of them, the true super-fans, make a point to hit Leiper’s Fork for a glance of the expert himself—even going so far as to knock on his door, which is one of the reasons why Wolfe went searching for this new house a year ago. (He and his wife, Jodi, had been living in a cottage in downtown Leiper’s Fork.)

Set a quarter mile from the road, the 12-year-old house ensures complete and total privacy. “Did you notice? No window treatments. What would you hide from out here?” Wolfe points out during a walk through. Every window has thick, detailed trim, from the standard-sized rectangles in the kitchen to the oval-shaped view near the front door. But there were plenty of other architectural nuances, Wolfe points out. Bookcases hide a tiny office off the library; wide staircases open up the center of the house; and four porches, trimmed with branch-like railings, rim the outside. Nearby sits an arbor that blooms with wisteria throughout the spring (the couple were married under it in September).

Inside, builder Powell incorporated a few of his own antique finds into the structure. The front doors, originally from a house in Connecticut, are 150-years-old. And in the living room, a large Gothic built-in covers one wall and includes small iron gate accents—the gates are from the 1860s, says Wolfe. “I’m saying, this house was built for us,” he stresses.

“I love it,” he says. “When they take me out of Tennessee it’s going to be in a casket,” he cracks with a smile.

 

Read the article in its entirety and click through the gallery to see more photos of Mike at home here!

 

mike wolfe, antique archaeology, leclaire, american pickers, vintage tee, vintage home decor
17 Comments

17 thoughts on “Mike Wolfe At Home in Nashville Lifestyles”

  1. Dala Williams

    WE love your show! We work our week around the show time! What we hate is that History runs the same shows to death! There are some we can quote hahaha Not sure who to talk to about this but History needs to do more shows like this! The kids love the history stories! It is a great learning tool for those children with learning challanges! We use your show all the time as – what would the story be of this? – Or is this new or Old? how can you tell? Thank you Mike for getting the younger kids excited about history again!!!!

    Keep up the Great work and welcome to the South – ya’ll stay awhile!

  2. mikey

    mike- i need one of those t-120 triumph 650cc bonnevilles you’ve been getting. circa mid 1960’s. lemme know- mikey daniels-houston,texas

  3. Glenda Brandenberger

    I am the loving wife of a man that can’t get enough of your shows or the two of you.
    When I first watched your show I was bored to death. Then I sat down and WATCHED your show.

    You two have the most fun looking, dealing and closing a sale. My husband and I were sales people till we retired.

    Just wanted you to know that you turned an old retired set in ways woman from playing on the computer to watching ALL your shows, even the reruns. You can always see something you missed the first time.

    Thank you for your time
    Glenda C Brandenberger

  4. Pat Judkins

    I love your show too. I learn so much about what I would call junk and you’re putting hundreds of dollars on it. Makes me feel like I must have thrown away a lot of good stuff. I like to pick too but I have to restrict myself to only those things I can use. But now I walk through second hand shops or garage sales and think “the pickers would love this stuff.” I recently bought one of your tee shirts and the first time I wore it got a lot of comments about it. We love you here in Wisconsin and hope to see more shows coming from the junk yards and old farms around here. I also agree with other comments that I could watch your show hour after hour – wait, sometimes I do. I never get tired of the reruns but when I hit a new show it’s my “rusty gold.” I have to say that you and Frank are so patient with the people you pick from. Some have real attitude problems but you two just jolly it up and move on. There was only one guy from Texas that was really insulting to me as well as you. I hope you dont go there again. I want to see you on the late night talk shows like the Tonight Show. That’s when we really get to know you and so will the rest of the world. What a great idea you had!

    1. Marilyn A. Griffith

      How do you get a tshirt I’ve been trying and trying and the ones I pick are either sold out or they don’t have my size Help!

      1. Sarah Buckholtz

        We are updating our shirt selection, Marilyn. Sounds like you picked the ones that are going away. What style were you looking at specifially?

  5. Sue Ross

    We both love you two guys. You are the nicest people ever. Its so much fun watching you and dealing with junk people. I hope you have a long career on tv because it’s hard to find good honest people!!

  6. ADDE

    Bonjour.
    Juste un message de la France pour vous dire combien j aime votre paye les états unis mon toujours fais rêve j aime beaucoup votre reportage qui passe en France sur les chaînes câblés. J aime beaucoup la musique américaine Mickey gilley, s….ET BIEN D AUTRE
    MERCI ENCORE VOUS UN GRAND PAYS. CORDIALEMENT ODETTE.

  7. Ross Philip Huenke Jr.

    Hi Mike, I Hope you’re doing well. I love your show & I watch every moment I can. I recently acquired a beautiful J. L. Mott porcelain sink I would love for you to see it & possibly purchase it from me. From the research I did it seems like it’s possibly from somewhere about 1930s or so. Please message me back, I’m ready to sell only to you & for a reasonable price for the both of us.:-) :-) :-)

  8. Marianne L.

    I discovered your show when I was in a rehab hospital recovering from back surgery. Now that I am home, I have recorded your shows and watch one or two episodes every night. I have told several people about your show and many of them also watch. Thank you for good a TV show.

  9. Cindy Ford

    Can’t wait to visit your store for the second time. We came to see your store and the Tenn. Titans Stadium about 3 weeks after you opened the Nashville Store. My daughter is so kindly, paying for most of our trip. We are bringing my sister and my 84 yr. old Mom. She has not been out side of central ohio for many years. She is so excited to be coming. Will see you on Wed. Aug. 26th. Heading from Ohio and hitting Gatlinburg, Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, and then to see your Great Store.

    Cindy Ford, Newark , Ohio

  10. Carol

    Hey Mike thanks for your show! You and Frank not only finding treasures but you guys are kind of helping clean the environment when you go on these picks! :) Now if you know anyone who is interested in a family portrait of Bill Daily from the TV Show I dream of Jeannie? Please let me know!
    Thanks

    Carol

  11. lewis

    mike and frank thanks for every thing im writting to say thanks for all the fun and stuff i have autism and your show has really helped me could you sya hi to frank and danny d for me please from lewis pullen england oxford barton

  12. Craig & Patty Smith

    Mike and Frank, we love your show! We made the trip to your Iowa store recently and enjoyed looking at all the “stuff” most of which I remember you picking! You have a great staff manning the counters and taking care of your Customers! They were more than nice!
    We will be making the trip to Nashville soon to see your other store. Keep fighting the good fight!
    Regards!
    P.S. Failed to make the trip to Frank’s store. Didn’t know it was just up river! Next time

  13. Debra K.

    Mike, Frank and Danielle,

    I can not tell you how much me and my husband love your show. We have learned so much from it. I can’t wait to come home and see how many shows my dvr has recorded and yes we watch reruns. We are completely hooked. Some day I hope to visit your stores and meet the three of you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>