Vintage boutique rich in Bowling Green history

Mackenzie Mathews

Nothing is considered trash in Labold and Sons Salvage. An endless expanse of art and antique items encompass the shop, inhabiting 150-year-old shelves. The building holds several pieces of Bowling Green history, from recognizable to mysterious.

Labold and Sons is a local art gallery and vintage boutique located on East Main Street in the downtown square and is owned by Bowling Green native Danielle Labold. She opened the gallery two and a half years ago in order to support local artists. Print Mafia and Jay Dougherty are two of the forty artists exhibited.

Labold’s personal art can be found throughout the shop as well. She has been working on a line of steampunk jewelry made from antique metals and watches.

Labold said she has been remodeling furniture pieces ever since she was a child.

“I have always redone pieces, from the things that are in my home to the things that are in my family’s home,” she said. “There are things that I have either found or bought, very inexpensively, and I see potential in them.”

These items are acquired several different ways. Labold and several friends buy at estate sales and trade items amongst their network of collectors. Locals bring in objects that belonged to their relatives. Many things were simply pulled out of the trash.

Evan Bigham has worked at Labold and Sons for seven months, and he explained how they have found anything from antique quilts, in perfect condition, to ten and fourteen carat diamonds thrown in the garbage. He said no one realizes what they could be throwing out.

Tyler Stimenates, a browsing customer, said the store has an eclectic and extensive set of merchandise to pick from.

“It’s amazing. There are some great little treasures in here from all time periods. Anyone can find anything,” he said.

Bigham said Labold and Sons prioritizes the local community, and everything about it appears to revolve around that ideology, including its history.

The building has gone through several renovations before settling into its current identity. It was built over 150 years ago and was owned by the first black person to own land in the downtown district of Bowling Green, during the 1890s.

The building has spent time as a brothel and a hotel. The rooms are still intact on the second floor. In 1929, it became Spot Cash, a men’s clothing store, where it remained until Labold and Sons Salvage took up residence in 2012.

Labold moved her store from across the square into its current location. Bigham explained that former Spot Cash employees have come in to the shop and recognized some of the original displays Labold kept from the store’s glory days.

Bigham said locals have entered the store and immediately expressed a sense of nostalgia, walking past rows of items from their childhood.

“We’re in a little slice of the past,” he said.

The past has even come to life, or lack thereof, through Mabel, the ghost that Labold said resides on the second floor.

“I didn’t believe in ghosts until I got this building,” Labold said.

The second floor is where the hotel and brothel were located, and Labold and her employees have experienced many paranormal happenings, she said.

The intensity ranges from hearing displaced footsteps to flickering lights to slamming doors.

The former owners christened the essence, Mabel, and Labold’s first paranormal experience happened in their presence, as they were picking up a box of their late father’s personal items.

Labold said that as she was giving the box to them, all of the doors on the second floor slammed shut, one by one. The lights commenced to flicker until they burst off, altogether. Ever since then, Mabel has been an accepted resident of the building.

Bigham said Labold and Sons Salvage incorporates everything about art and antiques, including Bowling Green’s own.

“We’re a vintage boutique. We’re an art gallery. We’re even a fine jewelry store,” she said. “You know, we’re just a little bit of everything.”