Tag Archives: Dr. Garlan Gudger

Dr. Garlan Gudger’s Roast

Southern Accents is a family owned and operated business that started in 1969 in the garage of Dr. Garlan Gudger, Sr. Talk to his son, Garlan, Jr., and he will tell you that the success of this business is due not only to his father’s tireless efforts throughout the years, but to his genuine love of architectural antiques and his passion for preservation. Garlan, Jr. describes family vacations growing up resembling an episode of Sanford and Son! “We would leave out in the family van and return with a U-haul hooked to the back filled with all kinds antiques and architectural pieces!” This passion has been passed down from father to son, who took over the business in 1999.

Dr. Garlan Gudger, Sr. and Garlan, Jr.

Dr. Garlan Gudger, Sr. and Garlan, Jr.

Because of health issues lately, Dr. Gudger is unable to spend as much time at the store as he would like but loves to stop in and visit with former customers whenever possible. He is currently doing well and has been the recent recipient of several prestigious recognitions which include an award from the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston for surviving 62 years of Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes. Dr. Gudger, who was diagnosed at the age of 10, credits a life long regimen of exercise, his participation in sports, and the good Lord for his survival. This past April, Dr. Gudger was inducted into the Cullman County Sports Hall of Fame and was also recently named as one of the top 5 Outstanding Alumni from Tennessee Tech in Cookville, Tennessee.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques - Dr. Garlan Gudger

This past Thursday night, July 31, 2014, Victim Services of Cullman hosted it’s 3rd Annual Fundraising Roast honoring Dr. Garlan Gudger, Sr. The roast, which was held at Terri Pines Country Club, was a fun evening filled with found memories, memorable stories and a few pokes, prods, and jabs along the way! Dr. Gudger was excited to spend the evening with family, old friends, former customers and colleagues, as well as former football players from his coaching days!

The evening kicked off with a meet and greet followed by dinner and then the roast. Dr. Gudger would like to thank everyone who attended and participated in the roast. A great evening was had by all! All proceeds from this event will help support victims of domestic and sexual violence.


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


3 Generations – Tripp On His First Salvage Trip!

One of our primary goals at Southern Accents is to preserve the stories of the architectural elements we obtain. Having a family owned and operated business for 54 years means that we have a treasure trove of personal stories to tell as well. Dr. Gudger started this business in 1969 when his love for collecting architectural antiques quickly filled up his garage and he decided to take his hobby to the next level, turning it into a small business. 54 years later his son, Garlan, Jr. now manages the business and is passing his love for preserving the past to his two sons, Garlan III (Tripp) and Pierce.

Dr. Gudger, Garlan Gudger, Jr. & Garlan Gudger III (Tripp)

Dr. Gudger, Garlan Gudger, Jr. & Garlan Gudger III (Tripp)

Garlan, Jr. reflects, “Growing up as a child I remember watching my father work hard at something he was passionate about. He would often ask me on Saturday morning if I wanted to go to work with him. There weren’t many Saturdays that I did not accompany him. I would sweep floors and put coal in the furnace on chilly mornings to heat the store. We were the only business on our block in the down town area at that time. As a young boy, I would spend hours searching the store for treasure. My dad would take old door knobs that he collected and dump them in buckets. I would go through every bucket and examine each individual knob. I would pick out the ones that were ornate or had unusual faces and unique designs which is how I started collecting door knobs. My father encouraged my imagination by allowing me the freedom to create things from salvage pieces I would find in the store. Each day in the store was an adventure! Working alongside my dad, I not only developed my own passion for historical artifacts, but I also gained a tremendous amount of knowledge from listening to his stories. By the time I was 13, elderly friends and customers would come by the store and were always surprised that this kid knew more about the ‘old stuff’ than they did! Now 37 years old, I don’t remember a day I haven’t helped with this business in some way. As a grown man, I am still hunting for treasure. Instead of digging through buckets of knobs, I now realize that the true treasure lies in preserving the stories and history of the artifacts that we collect. My father’s passion for historical preservation of significant architectural pieces is something that I now want to pass on to my two boys.”

Dr. Gudger mentoring Tripp on his first salvage mission. This post which Tripp removed will remain a family keepsake.

Dr. Gudger mentoring Tripp on his first salvage mission. This post which Tripp removed will remain a family keepsake.

If you have been following our posts these past two week’s you already know that we have been salvaging two houses in Arkansas, one of which is on the national register. Even though salvaging these houses is a double edged sword for our family, we are thankful that the owners gave us the opportunity for such a significant find. Three generations of the Gudger family traveled together for Phase I of the salvage operation; Dr. Gudger, Garlan Jr. and for the first time Garlan III (Tripp). Tripp’s first salvage job saw his Grandfather watching over and mentoring him… all the while encouraging that same passion for architectural salvage that he instilled in his own son Garlan Jr. years ago. Tripp has started asking questions and showing an interest in the business that Garlan Jr. is hoping to foster in both his sons. There just might be a few floor sweeping days for the young Gudger boys in the very near future!

Tripp Gudger on his first salvage mission!

Tripp Gudger on his first salvage mission!


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