Showroom History

When you visit our showroom, our collection of architectural antiques is quite impressive. But look beyond the doors, mantels, columns, tubs, etc. and you will see beautiful brick walls, old fire doors and creaky old wood floors. The Southern Accents showroom is rich with history and warrants a visit to Cullman, Alabama all on its own!

Cullman was founded in 1873 by Colonel John G. Cullmann, a German refugee who’s dream was to develop a thriving German immigrant colony in the South. Colonel Cullmann’s recruiting efforts were successful and by 1877, the settlement had grown enough to meet the population requirement needed for the creation of a new county.

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesIn 1884, one of the first banks in Cullman was established, Parker Bank & Trust Company. The Cullman community was growing at a rapid rate and there was a need for housing. By 1910 Parker Bank had built two adjoining buildings next door as an investment property to help meet that need. Initially, one of the buildings that now houses Southern Accents showroom, served as a hotel providing temporary shelter for new immigrants moving to the area. Years later the hotel was turned into a girls boarding school and dormitory. Eventually the building returned to housing families upstairs while the downstairs was rented to retail shop owners. Over time, the bank continued to add to this building. Today, this building which faces 2nd Ave SE, houses four retail businesses, including Southern Accents. The old Parker Bank building is still standing next door and is currently under renovation.

This building, erected around 1910, as it stands today. Southern Accents showroom is the second storefront from the right.

This building, erected around 1910, as it stands today. Southern Accents showroom is the second storefront from the right.

In the late 1970’s Dr. Garlan Gudger, Sr., looking to move his hobby turned architectural antique business to the downtown area, initially purchased the storefront closest to the Parker Bank building. Next door was a paint store owned by a Mr. Jay Cole. As Dr. Gudger’s inventory and customer base increased he saw the need for a larger retail space. Dr. Gudger purchased the larger storefront space from Mr. Cole in the early 80’s and moved his wares next door, where we can still be found today.

Southern Accents famous salvaged wood wall!

Southern Accents famous salvaged wood wall!

In the years since moving to our current location, our showroom has undergone a few changes including the addition of a large stairway which further increased our retail space by allowing easy access to the second floor. In April of 2011 the building sustained damage from the F4 tornado that destroyed a good portion of Cullman’s downtown area. The damage was repaired and 2014 saw the addition of office space upstairs along with our salvaged wood wall that is already on the “must see” list when visiting us!

Peek into our spindle room upstairs and take a look at our map hanging on the wall. This map is covered with pins showing where all our wonderful customers have come from!

Peek into our spindle room upstairs and take a look at our map hanging on the wall. This map is covered with pins showing where all our wonderful customers have come from!

Our showroom is open Tues – Fri 9am to 5pm and Sat 10am to 4pm. Stop in for a visit and let one of our team members show you around! You can also watch this VIDEO for a brief tour of our showroom!

Written by: Lisa Jones


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