Reconnecting the past

We know there is a history behind every piece we salvage. We do not always know all of the history, but can usually tell you where it came from and how old it is. We recently had the privilege to salvage a home in Montgomery, Alabama that was built in the 1800’s. We found a little history of this home after an article was written in the Montgomery Advertiser about our salvaging efforts.

About a week after that article ran, we received a call from a young lady that read the article after it was picked up in the Mobile Press Register. She continued to tell us that her husband was the Great grandson of Charles Linn Gay, a prominent Montgomery businessman. He had the home built in 1899. She wanted something from the house. Something to remember her husband’s history. We asked her to write something for us that would depict what her feelings were when she saw the article and what made her contact us. Her letter is the following:

I found out about the Gay House in Montgomery through an article in the Mobile Press-Register.  I didn’t even know it existed until my husband, Charles, called me and told me to look for the article.  The house was built by his great-grandfather, Charles Linn Gay, in the 1800’s.  There was a picture of the house in the paper with the article.  It was in obvious disrepair, but it was easy to see that it was once a stunning home.

The article discussed the process that would be taking place in order to salvage as many items as possible from the home.  As soon as I read that Southern Accents would be selling the items, I called the manager, Kolby, and told him who I was.  He was fantastic.  He sent pictures that they had taken of the home to me, and I was able to share those with Charles and his mother and brothers. My mother-in-law told us about visiting the home in the 70’s and how beautiful it was.  It was neat to learn about the history of both the home and Charles’ family.  If it weren’t for the article in the newspaper and my subsequent phone call to Kolby, we probably would never have had the opportunity to discuss the family’s past because we would never have thought to ask!   

I wanted to make sure that we were able to get a piece of the house for our home in Mobile.   We live in a small, midtown house and don’t have a lot of room for extras, so Kolby helped me decide that a small window would be a great showpiece.  We plan to hang it on one of the walls in our house.

Neither Charles nor I have been to the Gay home in Montgomery or have even laid eyes on it in person.  So why do we want a piece of this home?  That’s easy – because it’s part of my husband’s history.  Most of the Gay family has passed on, but this house and the things in it represent his great-grandfather and all of the family that came after him.  This window will help us to remember those who came before us, those who helped make my husband who he is today, and share our history with those who come after us.  When you think about it, a window really makes perfect sense.  In it, we can look back at the past and look forward to the future.

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