Tag Archives: antiques

After leaving a job in the Ohio oil fields, 26-year-old Andrew Wasnac blazed his own path as a bladesmith

Inside the detached garage off his house in Akron, Ohio, you can smell the burning coal. Open the door and you’ll see Andrew Wasnac forging a hot piece of iron on an anvil resting on an old tree trunk. There’s an American flag proudly displayed on the wall and a pile of homemade tongs in the corner. This is Colony Knives — where Andrew taught himself how to twist and stretch steel.

If you were going to start a new project, like restoring a car, you’d go to the store to pick up some tools and parts. Bladesmiths can’t do that — Their tools are obsolete. This means every vice, clamp, even the forge in a bladesmith’s shop is built by their hands before they can even start making an actual knife.

“I’ve been forging knives inside my garage for about three and a half years,” explains Andrew. “I used to sling a sledgehammer out in the oil fields. I always felt like I should be using this tool for myself not someone else. I left the fields and dove into blacksmithing and never looked back.”
It took him a few tries to get a handle on the entire process but once he did, he realized the potential of what he just tapped into. The stuff we buy in stores is junk.
“I became very frustrated with the downfall of quality tools available today. Forging American steel blades is my way of reminding people of our roots while honoring the traditional techniques of bladesmithing. At one point in time, it wasn’t possible to just go out and buy something. If you wanted it — you had to make it.”
That being said, not only is Andrew and bladesmith, but he also has to be a woodworker to make the handles, and a leatherworker for the sheathes — because you can’t send a knife out without a cover! 
Born and raised in Akron, Andrew takes great pride in basing his American-made brand in his hometown, especially with Goodyear Headquarters right down the road. 
Andrew has such respect for the American work ethic and perseverance, that he even included 13 stars for the 13 original colonies in his logo. It was actually his fascination with history that led him to his bladesmithing path.
“I grew up in a household of antique enthusiasts and was always traveling to fairs and festivals where there was a live blacksmith. It was guaranteed that if my family couldn’t find me, all they had to do was follow the smoke and smell of coal. Even so many years later, it is a love that has never dulled.”
Speaking of things that *aren’t* dull, you should watch how Andrew tests the integrated bolster blades of his knives. His tester videos on Instagram are satisfying enough for any craftsman to appreciate.


“When it’s time to test the knives, I do a series of bend, flex, hardness, and retention testing. Each piece I make is tested according to what task it’s designed for. For example. A kitchen knife will be tested for proper geometry and sharpness by slicing food, like tomatoes. If the knife can slice through a tomato sideways without having to hold it down, then it passes.”

A bladesmith has to be resilient because there will be days when you’ve been dodging sparks for weeks on a single pair of tongs or get stung by a hot iron.

“You gotta think 20 steps ahead when manipulating iron. I’ve had moments where steel has shattered like thin ice across my calloused hands. It infuriates you. 100 hours of work in pieces on the floor. You throw your tools in the yard and kick the grass, but you know you’re just gonna pick them up and try again. If you’re proud of what you do, then the fear of failure doesn’t distract you from creating something that will be a family heirloom for generations to come. That’s what keeps me motivated in moments like that.”

There a lot to be said about someone who is so young who, in a time of instant gratification, appreciates the low and slow approach. The art of working with your hands is making a comeback with this generation of makers, and Andrew is here to participate. 

“Life on Two Lanes means to me that, in my craft, one lifetime would never be enough to learn and master all the different techniques of blacksmithing and bladesmithing. Having to start from scratch with my craft by building my own tools, has shown me the importance of self-reliance as well as quality in all that I do.  American goods can be difficult to come by these days. I started Colony Knives to be part of the something our founding fathers would have been proud of.  I’m in for the long run and proud to do what I do.”

See more of Andrew’s creations, FOLLOW him on Instagram

For more artisans producing American Made goods, FOLLOW Two Lanes on Instragam


Our new Two Lanes leather journals are hand-made by a 100-year-old family business in Franklin, TN! Butter soft and ready to hit the road with you with summer!


Previously published on the Des Moines Register May 16, 2019, , Des Moines Register

LeCLAIRE, Ia. — “Why am I here?”

That’s Mike Wolfe’s opening salvo at every farm, corn crib, attic and cellar he visits to sift through junk looking for gems on “American Pickers,” the mega-hit reality show he created and still stars on.

But recently, he’s been asking himself that same question: “Why am I here?”

Sometimes, he means it plainly — with his schedule of two weeks filming on the road for every two weeks at home, he jokes he can forget exactly what he’s doing sometimes — but often, it’s existential.

How did a kid from a single-parent household in Davenport, Iowa, who barely graduated high school become a millionaire and a celebrity in antique circles? Where did a listless 20-something carrying around a camera to film himself asking about other people’s trash get the gumption to believe this could be a TV show?

And what about him keeps viewers tuning in after a decade of “Pickers”?

In all that first-person thought, the answer resides decidedly in the third-person. The show has little to do with him or even with the “picks,” as fans call the objects he buys. All that, he says, waving a hand like he’s swatting a fly, is window dressing.

The essence of “Pickers” comes in the answer to his question: “Why am I here?”

“Every object has a story,” he says, holding eye contact. “And that story is reflective of a family, or of a place, or of a time, or of a moment. So it’s a show about all of us. It’s reflective of all of us.”

It’s also a show about transitions — whether people are dealing with major changes in health, family makeup, finances or even the death of a loved one, Wolfe’s job is to bring positivity and a moment of celebration within that tragedy.

He’s up to the task, but when you have hours and hours on two-lane highways to think about the weight of all of it, it gets, well, heavy.

And it gets him to thinking about his own transitions; his own answer to the question he will toss out to 45-episodes’ worth of farmers, collectors and hoarders when the new season of “American Pickers” premieres Monday: “Why am I here?”

In his case, the more specific question is: When you have achieved personal and professional success with a show that dominates ratings and has the shelf-life of a Twinkie, what else do you do? And when you love physical history and rural life in a world that prefers images and ideas carried on fiber optic cables and places where takeout is dinner more often than home cooking, how do you keep the past alive?

Walking the streets of his hometown, stopping in his packed store, Antique Archaeology, and munching tacos at his friend’s Mississippi riverfront Mexican joint, he attempted to work those questions out.

“I’m a storyteller, so is it my responsibility to tell that story?” he asks. “I think it is, like, it is big time. (And) the show is at the point now where it’s, like, I want to talk about these things that matter.”


Third from the bottom

If you think about life as a road trip — an apt way to describe Mike’s experience, given his time traveling on them — Wolfe knew the route from here to there wasn’t going to be smooth, brightly lit highways. From his earliest memories, he understood that his road to success would require him to machete through the overgrowth, lay his own gravel and bring enough provisions to make it through the trip.

As a thin, lanky, poor kid in Joliet, Illinois, and then LeClaire, Wolfe said he was mercilessly picked on, getting jumped to and from school and having milk poured on him in the cafeteria.

In a real-life version of Frogger, Wolfe, now 54, avoided bullies by cutting through yards and alleys to get to school.

“The alleys were safe places for me, and that’s where the garbage was, too,” Wolfe says. “And so the garbage became my toys and they became part of my imagination and they became part of who I was.”

Along the way, he made friends with the old men whose garages overflowed with rusty junk, spending hours chatting with them about bygone days. (On that front, not much has changed, he offers.)

“This old man gave me a cigar box and that was, like, everything to me, you know, because of the colors and the way it smelled and the fact he gave it to me,” Wolfe says.

In school, Wolfe couldn’t focus. He’d read textbook pages over and over as though he was interpreting an alien language. But anything he could get his hands on — autos, woodshop — that clicked.

Massive collection of 110 vintage muscle cars revealed in southwestern Iowa ahead of the auction

‘American Pickers’ comes back to Iowa in search of rusty gold

After graduating third from the bottom of his class — a great memoir title, he says — he bummed around some community colleges in the Midwest, taking a few years to realize that his success wouldn’t be tied to a degree.

He worked in a warehouse building bikes in his early 20s before being promoted to the sales floor. His garbage collecting became “picking,” and he kept it up because, he says, “it’s hard to sell a bicycle in January in Iowa.”

Before the internet, he picked in the only way he knew how — by knocking on farm doors. He’d spend hours talking to the owner and, sometimes, come away with nothing.

His life was so weird to his friends, and the stories he told were so revelatory, nearly everyone around him would say, “Wow, you should be on a TV show.”

After hearing it enough times, Wolfe decided they might be on to something.







On June 30, 2018, Antique Archaeology hosted their 2nd ever Kid Picker Flea Market in downtown LeClaire, Iowa where the roles were flipped and the kids were the vendors and the adults were the customers. A total of 31 kids between the ages of 6 and 17 traveled with their families from all over the country to sell their antique/vintage/handmade treasures to the public—despite the sweltering heat index of 106 degrees! That didn’t stop the crowds of locals, tourists, Mike Wolfe, and his family, from coming out to support these young entrepreneurs.

Below are moments captured during Kid Picker Flea Market 2018 by LeClaire photographer, Kevin E. Schmidt/Maquoketa Studios.


The event kicked off with a motivational speech from the American Picker himself. Holding his 6-year-old daughter, Charlie, in his arms, Mike spoke to the crowd about celebrating a child’s mind and why it’s important to encourage a kid’s interest in collecting treasures, especially in the disposable/tech-saturated generation they’re growing up in. He also spoke directly to the kids urging them to follow their picking passions because they’re the ones who will be responsible for telling the stories of American industry and history for the next generation.

063018-LeClaire-KS-051Mike declared the Flea Market open with a loud yell as the kids ran down to the levee along the Mississippi River. They assumed their positions at their booths which they had decorated themselves with homemade signs, business cards, and displays.

063018-LeClaire-KS-054Picks ranged from traditional rusty gold and vintage advertising to toys and furniture.

063018-LeClaire-NS-010During market hours, local businesses hosted events, bike races (provided by the River Valley Optimist Club), food and drinks (provided by Big Dave & Holly’s), a history exhibit of the telephone (presented by the Buffalo Bill Museum) and an upcycled craft with old keys (presented by Unique Creations and Fancy Pants Boutique) made possible by the donation of the members of Picker Nation. Even the LeClaire Fire Department fire truck came by to deliver some sweet relief from the heat with a bit of water.


Mike stayed for the entire event walking around visiting each booth, asking questions, and buying picks.


Flea market goers enjoyed LIVE music from Finding Home — a kids only family band.

063018-LeClaire-KS-032Even Mike’s daughter Charlie had a booth set up with a little help from her Grandma Rheta, (Mike’s mom!)


The weather was hot, but the crowds were out in full force searching for their new favorite treasures.

063018-LeClaire-KS-050Mike added this foam gator head to his collection of oddities like Wolfe Boy, Gypsy Gramma, Oddfellows skeletal bust.


The Twilight, a lavish Victorian riverboat and LeClaire gem, chauffered Kid Pickers and their families on cruises up and down the Mississippi River all afternoon.


The Kid Picker class of 2018 group photo!

For details of the event and inspiration on how to host one in your town visit Antique Archeology’s Kid Picker Flea Market Page 


Take this Antique Archaeology hand thrown mug to your backyard fire or on your weekend camping trip!





“What leads us to leave places behind and what are the consequences of doing so?”

Matthew Christopher, a 39-year-old internationally acclaimed photographer, has spent the last decade documenting the forgotten structures of America. His current book, “Abandoned America: Dismantling the Dream” is a catalog of American history that encourages the reader to ask, “What leads us to leave places behind and what are the consequences of doing so?”

His beautifully illustrated book focuses on 25 places that have been left behind, 240 pages and 150 color photographs that are a feast for both eyes and soul.  Along with the images come the stories – some historical, some mysterious, some heart-breaking  — that transport readers back to the time when these structures were alive and serving important functions in American life.  Each has its history, tales waiting to be read and shared.

abandoned cathedral
Abandoned Cathedral

Influenced by the decline of state hospitals and their sometimes haunting history, Matthew’s first Abandoned America adventure was photographing the Philadelphia State Hospital.

“When out documenting these places, you’re quick to find your senses on full alert. If you hear a branch against a window or a pigeon fly across the room it can startle you.”

Abandoned hotel
Matt and Abandoned Hotel Room

“The intention of this book is to be a gift for the next generation. I wanted to show them my generation’s past and how to approach their future. The theme throughout is, above all, hope. Hope that no place is ever really lost, so long as its story is shared. I want people to see these forgotten factories and closed schools as fixer-uppers and historic landmarks with a lot of fight left in them. I want to encourage everyone to see the potential behind the patina before building something new.”

Locations include one of Niagara Falls’ swankiest hotels, the country’s largest private zoo, and the world’s fastest ocean liner – which is also larger than the Titanic and the largest ship ever built on US soil.   While some places are left to rest in piece, a few are in the process of being brought back to life, like the Variety Theatre in Cleveland.

abandoned variety theater
Variety Theatre

Thanksgiving Day, 1927, the Variety Theatre opened with a screening of “Hula” featuring Clara Bow. For decades, audiences there enjoyed movies, concerts and live performances, marveling at the beauty of the theater as they sat in beneath tapestries and chandeliers in a 350-seat balcony — the largest of its kind west of Ohio’s Cuyahoga River. The theater was later bought by Warner Bros., and then by a succession of owners until it was closed in 1990 after the ceiling began to fall during a Motörhead concert.  Years later, the surrounding community established the nonprofit Friends of the Historic Variety Theatre in an ongoing effort to rescue, restore and reopen the iconic theater.

abandoned variety theater
Variety Theatre

“The revitalization of the Variety Theatre is heartwarming and hopeful. As I walked up to the theater doors I saw soggy, homemade Valentine’s cards taped up outside by the Cleveland community. The resurrection of the theater may represent hope for economic revitilization for the surrounding neighborhood as well.”

There’s a romanticism about the 20,000 square foot Spanish Gothic-style theater with its marble, glass and brass fixtures. The massive structure covers an entire city block and is filled with the remains of museum-quality early 20th century décor.

Abandoned variety theater
Variety Theatre

It is such an important site and the community has been so committed to its restoration and preservation that they were named winners of Antique Archaeology’s national This Place Matters campaign, launched in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.   As part of the celebration, Mike will travel there later this spring to congratulate the theater’s team in person and help create more media and public interest in their efforts.

“These forgotten places have personalities of their own. Exploring them initiates an internal connection that pushes you to ask yourself what your contribution to the world will be. The story doesn’t have to be over for places like the Fallside Hotel, the Randall Park Mall, or Gary, Indiana. Show people how you’ll aid in the aftermath.”

abandoned america
Abandoned America

“All of these places I’ve photographed play a crucial part in American history in their own significant way. Listen to the stories of these locations; don’t let them be for nothing.”

Is there one of Matthew Christopher’s abandoned locations you’d like to explore or a revitalization project in your community? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to follow along with Matthew’s many Abandoned America adventures on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

CLICK HERE to order your signed copy of Abandoned America: Dismantling the Dream


Check out Two Lanes by Mike Wolfe. American-Made adventure brand for this double-sided off-white graphic tee inspired by a vintage shirt Mike found. 



In 2012, THE GLOW featured a darling write up with just dreamy photography on our two favorites – Jodi + Charlie Wolfe. THE GLOW is a site that glimpses into the world of inspiring and fashionable moms, featuring their “styling ideas, go-to gear, multitasking secrets, and enviable decor.” Perhaps we’re just a teeny-bit biased, but we think you’ll love reading into the world of Mama and Baby Wolfe. -Lauren 

As mom of a twenty-four-year-old and a one-year-old, (now 28yrs and 4yrs) Jodi Faeth has the kind of highly honed mama instincts that come only from a lifetime of mothering. Walking into the sprawling Tennessee home she shares with her husband (and American Pickers star Mike Wolfe) is like traveling back in time—there are vintage motorcycles in the living room and a classic 1960s VW van parked outside. But it’s the home’s enveloping warmth that’s most striking. After a difficult labor and angst-filled year of multiple surgeries to correct a cleft palate, the proud parents are thankful for every healthy day they get to spend with baby Charlie.

Photo Credit: THE GLOW

[Editor’s note: In late December 2013, Jodi was diagnosed with stage 2 Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.] “Believe it or not even vegan, exercising, juicing mama’s get cancer. I was the last one to expect it. Life was everything I could possibly dream of then bam…”

“I think I was more scared to become a mother again at 41 then when I had my son 24 years ago. The first time I was so young, but I also didn’t know any better. I didn’t research strollers, cribs, schools etc. back then. I keep reminding myself that my son turned out just fine and the most important thing I did with him and I will continue to do with Charlie is spend time with them without a phone, iPad or other distractions.

Photo Credit: THE GLOW

“After finding out about Charlie’s condition in utero, we were devastated initially but quickly decided we could handle her birth defect and would embrace it and be strong for her. We were already so in love with this girl that nothing could have changed how we were feeling. When we returned to the doctor, we were advised to take all sorts of tests because once they find one birth defect, your chances of other syndromes are high (and I was forty-one years old at the time). I said no to any and all tests—I knew in my heart Charlie would be healthy, and I decided that I would not let any stress enter my otherwise healthy pregnancy. She was born January 30, 2012, weighing nine pounds four ounces. After my surgery, when I finally got to hold her and count all ten fingers and toes, all the worry was finally over. She was perfect, and we were ready to take on any obstacles she would face. We bonded immediately. She made a fist and shook it at my husband. I think she was mad about how long the whole thing took. At that moment, all of my dreams came true.”

Photo Credit: THE GLOW
Photo Credit: THE GLOW

“Feeding is usually the biggest issue for babies born with clefts. She lost weight right off the bat, but we figured out a solution by cutting a Y in the bottle’s nipple. Mike and I were so proud of her, we told everyone about her cleft and even shot her baby announcement photo with it. We had two surgeries the first year she was born. Those were tough. We are a team, and we stayed together every night at the hospital. Charlie is a strong girl—she even surprised the surgeons and got to go home early. We realize how fortunate we are that we had the resources to get Charlie the best doctors. We became ambassadors of Operation Smile, an organization that provides lifesaving surgeries for children in countries where the resources are not available. Charlie inspires us to be better people, and through this I hope the three of us can make a difference.”

Photo Credit: THE GLOW
Photo Credit: THE GLOW

“I am instilling strong will and confidence in my daughter every chance I get! Being born with a cleft lip and palate, Charlie will have to overcome some obstacles with speech and having a scar above her lip. I tell her every day what a strong, beautiful girl she is on the inside and out. I want my children to be givers, not takers, as that is the greatest expression of self-worth. That is how I will know I did my job right.

Photo Credit: THE GLOW
Photo Credit: THE GLOW

“Giving my husband the daughter we always imagined was by far the most exciting moment for me. We were at a friend’s house a couple years ago listening to their 15 year old daughter play guitar and sing a song she wrote. My husband later told me what a feeling it must be to see your child do something so amazing like that. I thought to myself it was time we get serious about having our own. I wanted that feeling for him.”

Photo Credit: THE GLOW
Photo Credit: THE GLOW

“I didn’t have any drugs the first time around, so I wanted everything as natural as possible with Charlie. We had no idea she would be over nine pounds and that I would be in labor for twenty-eight hours before a C-section was necessary. While I was in recovery from my C-section, my husband showed me a picture of my son holding Charlie for the first time, and Kyle had tears in his eyes. We had gotten the girl we had dreamed about, and my son got the sister he never knew he wanted but fell so in love with. He later told me that he never expected to feel the way he does about his sister and that he will be there for her always.

Photo Credit: THE GLOW
Photo Credit: THE GLOW

Best part of being a mom: “The wet kisses, and the blueberry pancakes in my hair. Kids make you remember your own childhood and how fun being silly can be. Not everything has to be so serious. ”

Hardest part of being a mom: “When your child feels disappointment and frustration in themselves. It’s heartbreaking, it happens as they grow. You have to let them work through it and realize they are individuals with all their own thoughts and feelings. As a mom, you just always want to make things better.”

Photo Credit: THE GLOW
Photo Credit: THE GLOW

“Raising Charlie in Tennessee, she will say ‘Ma’am’ and ‘Sir’. Kids are so polite here; I always loved that about this place! She will know how to dance because everyone does here. I can’t wait to see her out on the wood floor clogging or whatever! She has her own Airstream in our woods she will have overnights in. You can’t do that in the city! She will also realize how important family and community are. The South makes you slow down a bit and keep the important things in perspective.”

Photo Credit: THE GLOW
Photo Credit: THE GLOW

“My husband reminds me that our partnership is what we both believe in and when all the craziness is over it will just be us. I make him feel special by packing little notes and pictures of Charlie and I in his suitcase. He loves them.”

Photo Credit: THE GLOW
Photo Credit: THE GLOW

“I think we both work extra hard communicating and making sure the other person is OK. It’s hard being apart as much as we are and at times I feel like a single parent again. It’s hard for him to be away so much on the road. Charlie makes us work extra hard at all of this knowing we want her to grow up with two parents who not only love her but are so much in love. My husband never had a father around so I know this is something he wants more than anything.

Photo Credit: THE GLOW
Photo Credit: THE GLOW

“Mike had no idea, being a first time parent, that Charile may pee in the bathtub. He was like ‘Now we have to start all over’, and I said ‘Oh no, just pour a cup of water over her and call it a day’. We also used to joke about going to bed and saying ‘See you in 3 hours on the assembly line’. You just have to laugh at the lack of sleep new parents have to adjust to.”

Photo Credit: THE GLOW
Photo Credit: THE GLOW

A Few of Jodi’s Favorite Things…

“Walks through the woods together and Charlie’s baby feet in the creek.”

“Taking naps together when I can feel her breath on my face.”

“When she strums her guitar.”

“Watching her with my 25 year old son, Kyle, it is silliness, admiration and love all at one time.”

“Charlie’s big toe.”

“Happy Hour every Friday at Puckett’s, Leipers Fork, TN. Yes Charlie is expected to come. She is called the FORK baby!”

“My husband dressing Charlie in vintage finds he has picked for her.”

“Dark chocolate and Red wine (of course).”

Photo Credit: THE GLOW
Photo Credit: THE GLOW

“I am definitely already the disciplinarian. With my husband being gone so much, he does not want to touch that. She is a daddy’s girl and I love that for both of them. I am used to saying ‘No’ with my son so it doesn’t phase me.”

Photo Credit: THE GLOW
Photo Credit: THE GLOW

“We take her with us wherever we go now. She went with us to Hawaii for our honeymoon last September and is about to leave for Europe with us for three weeks.

Photo Credit: THE GLOW
Photo Credit: THE GLOW

Order your EXCLUSIVE Antique Archaeology mug by Sunset Hill Stoneware HERE!




If you’re traveling down South, just before you hit Birmingham, is the small town of Cullman, Alabama. It’s clear by the gigantic billboards advertising alongside the interstate that Southern Accents Architectural Antiques is quite an attraction that happens to be nestled in a beautiful, historic building right in the middle of downtown. Tip: Don’t fiddle with your radio while you’re driving thru Cullman, or you’ll pass it.

architectural salvage tennessee
Upstairs in Southern Accents

Southern Accents was established in 1969 when Dr. Garlan Gudger Sr. began rescuing architectural elements from buildings in Cullman that were slated to be demolished. Never realizing his desire to rescue antique building materials would one day flourish into one of the largest architectural antique stores in the nation, Dr. Gudger consistently did what he loved – rescuing, restoring and protecting architectural salvage. The rest of the story goes that before the shop was opened, Garlan Sr.’s collection started spreading out of the house and into the garage. Word gets around in a small town, and it wasn’t long before neighbors and lookie-loos began stopping by on Saturdays to shop and see what they could find. One Saturday, Dot (Garlan Sr.’s wife and Garlan Jr.’s mom) found a couple of ladies shopping. There was one small problem – They were shopping and picking through her stuff! As quick as Dot could say, “Get out!!”, a new business was born.


salvaged goods alabama
Smaller salvaged goods.. Attention is in the Detail!

Garlan Jr., Dr. Gudger’s son, now owns and runs the business with his sister Joy and wife, Heather – along with 12 employees. It would take a few days to sum up what this close-knit staff does as there is a full-time and quite expansive (to the tune of over 46,000 square feet) full-service wood shop, restoration shop, lumberyard, and retail shop. All projects, including their business of lumber and custom orders, are done in house. In fact it’s so “in house” Garlan and Heather live in a restored loft just above the shop with their two sons.

architectural salvage
Southern Accents Workshop


Architectural salvage alabama
It’s a Family Affair: Joy Barker, Dr. Garlan Gudger Sr., + Garlan Gudger Jr.

Southern Accents has extended their store to a small campus. Located on the same block is an iron lot full of antique iron, claw foot tubs and pedestal sinks and just down from the iron lot is a garden lot stocked with urns, benches, fountains, stonework and more. Lastly, very close to St. Bernard Abbey (Side Note: This is the historic Benedictine Monastery in Cullman, which opened in 1892. Be sure to visit the Ave Maria Grotto while you’re there!) you will arrive at the salvaged wood warehouse, housed in what used to be a school gymnasium.

architectural salvage
Iron yard and Salvaged wood warehouse

Recently, Garlan Jr. was in our neck of the woods working with Mike on a custom project at his property in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee. A Morton Building was just completed to store all of Mike’s personal collection of picks and motorcycles. We are not kidding when we tell you there were antique Harleys in the kitchen before this building was built… just ask Mike’s wife, Jodi! Mike wanted something salvalged and unique to match the picker-patina aesthetic throughout the building. Working with the salvaged wood that Mike hand picked, Southern Accents covered the interior back wall of the office with re-milled quarter sawn white oak. The ceiling was dressed with antique beadboard and the floor was a mixture of stained and painted white oak. The exterior wall of the office was wrapped with reclaimed lumber in a kaleidoscope of gorgeous colors. Once installed, the wood was finished with two coats of linseed oil. Mike summed up the look with one word: “Sexy.”

See for yourself:

mike wolfe
Mike Wolfe and Garlan from Southern Accents in Mike’s barn

Visit Southern Accents online to sign up for their newsletter and in person:

Southern Accents

308 Second Ave SE

Cullman, AL 35055

info@sa1969.com / 877-737-0544

Instagram: @garlangudgerjr

Throw on our Antique Archaeology “Sweet Pickin’” dark heather grey t-shirt on your next walk about town!





Every once in a while, Antique Archaeology acquires slightly creepy picks. Sometimes Mike’s taste tilt towards the unusual. (Like that one trip to upstate New York when he returned to our Nashville location with a load of clown heads and a gigantic old clown suit!) It’s only appropriate with Halloween getting closer, that we share some of the spooky antiques that the Master of Junk has collected over the past few years.

Scroll down if you dare…

This smiling, Oddfellows skeletal makes you wonder what’s so funny.

Mike Wolfe Picks
Photo by Meghan Aileen

Anyone recognize the clown on the left? You saw it on Season 7 when Mike purchased it in upstate New York. The paper mache clown head used to be propped atop a circus sign to greet the audience. The Bozo clown head on the right was off that same pick.

creepy clown photos
Photos by Meghan Aileen

Mike found Gypsy Grandma, a fortune-telling, coin-operated machine from the 1940s and 1950s, inside a Louisiana warehouse amongst self-playing piano and gabbling gumball machines. Feed her a dime, ask a “yes” or “no” question, then watch her reach over to open a cabinet where she’ll grab your fortune and drop it into a pot for you to read. Careful what you ask for…

gypsy grandma

Imagine walking into your next dentist appointment and seeing this old mold tool. Gives the phrase “Open wide and say ‘ah’ ” a frightening new meaning…

Antique dentures
Photo by Meghan Aileen

While pickin in Flordia, Mike uncovered a retired eye doctor’s eye-popping collection of optical-related antiques — including these glass eyes. If you look at them long enough you’ll swear one blinked at you…


Wolf Boy is undoubtedly one of the most famous picks in American Pickers history. He was displayed at circus shows as an attraction and was created by sideshow artist, Homer Tate (read more about him HERE!)

Honor Tate
Photos by Meghan Aileen

If we missed a spooky pick from the show, let us know which one in the comments below. Happy Halloween!


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Saving Nashville’s Historic Buildings – It’s Now or Never!

In a city that is growing so rapidly that cranes dot our skylines, high rise buildings take the place where some of our history once stood. Nashville is fortunate to have a hard working organization taking up the cause for preservation. Established in 1968 and renamed in 1975, Historic Nashville, Inc. (HNI) is a nonprofit organization with the mission of promoting and preserving the historic places that make our city unique. Over the years, HNI has successfully advocated for the preservation of such landmarks as the Ryman Auditorium, Union Station, Hermitage Hotel, 2nd Avenue & Lower Broadway and Shelby Street Bridge, as well as neighborhood historic districts throughout the city. Without their efforts, some of most valuable buildings may have fallen prey to modern development.


Historic Nashville Inc’s Nashville Nine

For the past eleven years, the organization has opened up nominations of the Nashville Nine for people to have their voices heard on the historic landmarks that matter most to them. Upon closing of nominations, HNI compiles the Nashville Nine in order to bring public attention to our endangered places, often with the hopes of saving them.

Through July 15, Historic Nashville, Inc. is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Nashville Nine. If you’re aware of any historic properties endangered by demolition, neglect or development in the city please nominate them. Historic houses and/or neighborhoods, park buildings, civic landmarks, commercial buildings, neighborhood schools, churches and even neon signs are eligible.

Nominate Nashville’s Endangered Buildings Here



Visit Nashville Historic, Inc Online for more on their efforts and some of Nashville’s history. Their website is here. 

Want to follow their efforts all year? Like their Facebook page here and tell them Antique Archaeology sent you!



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