Monday, April 3, 2017

"American Pickers" Nashville Store History and Other Historic Finds

Ever wondered what you find in the infamous "American Pickers" store? This blogger got the opportunity to visit the Nashville store and discover some of the historic pieces on display. My adventure also included learning the intersting history of the automobile factory that houses the store. Along the way, I spotted lots of, yep you guessed it, historic, original pine beams and flooring!

Wood Wheels American Pickers Store
Photos from Model T Ford Club of America. 

The first thing that caught my eye was this wood spoke car wheel! After some research, I discovered that wood spokes were used on the first Model T cars. They were used until 1926 when steel wheels became the latest invention. They bare or painted for the luxury option. The wood often chosen for this application was hickory. 

Around the corner, I stumbled across this vintage dress from Country Music sweetheart, Loretta Lynn. The award winning singer has had a 60 year long career. She paved the way for women in the country music industry. She was the first woman to receive the CMA's "Entertainer of the Year" and the first to receive a certified gold album. She still remains the most awarded woman in country music. She also holds another title in Albany Woodwork's history. She was one of the first customers to purchase adirondack chairs from a young Richard Woods in the early days of Albany Woodworks. These chairs sat on her ranch home porch outside of Nashville for years. 

And then nestled among the historic treasures was the antique woodworking. It was breathtaking in its own way. Each beam and piece of wood has resided in the building since 1881, when it was constructed to house a boiler company and then in 1904, the famous Marathon Automobile Factory. The Marathon Auto Company grew rapidly for the next few years, gaining investment and prosperity. Unfortunately, it fell as fast as it grew. By 1914, it was crumbling and closed soon after. There are only nine Marathon cars remaining today and are incredibly collectible. Marathon was the only automobile company to build cars within Nashville's city limits.  

The 130,000 sq ft building sat in disrepair and empty until the 1980's when it was purchased. The new owner renovated it and turned it into the Marathon village, a series of shop spaces, event spaces, and artist lofts. The renovations kept as many original features as possible. When the owner first went into the buildings, he pried open doors that had been nailed shut for nearly fifty years. Behind the doors, he found a time capsule of the early 1900's with highly sought after car parts, machinery and other historic artifacts sitting there waiting to be found. This just proves that you never know what you will find behind the doors of the historic buildings of Nashville, Tennessee.