The history of GAS Design Center’s building.

The property was initially part of Franklin County, but the records from 1819 to 1867 were destroyed in a fire at the Franklin County Courthouse. The property is now a part of Colbert County, and the records from the period are currently available.

October 28, 1820: The property was sold to Anthony Winston, James McDonalds, and Anthony White, who built two small houses on the land. The houses stood in the town of Cold Water, which was later renamed Tuscumbia.

March 6, 1871: George Creamer sold the property to Gus A. Henry for $913.77

April 21, 1873: Gus a Henry sold the estate to Arthur Keller for $250.00.

December 1873: Arthur Keller sold the property to William Johnson for $1025.00. Calvin P. Simmons lived in the house, and it became known as the Port Simpson House.

February 12, 1880: William Johnson sold the property to Colbert County for $2000.00. Johnson was instructed to tear down the two houses and build a two-story brick store with a counting room, store room, and bedroom.

November 12, 1880: William Johnson purchased the land back from Colbert County.

January 24, 1887: William Johnson sold the property to another previous owner, Arthur Keller, for $5,600.00.

December 22, 1896: Arthur Keller died and left the building to his wife Kate and their children Helen, Mildred, and Phillips. Ike Hyde occupied the store house, and it was called Hyde Store.

March 25, 1901: Kate Keller sold the building to D.O. Mathews Supply Company for $1000.00, and it was then used for a general mercantile business.

1917: D.O. Mathews Supply Company sold the building to W.H. Martin for $17,000.00.

1978: W.H. Martin died. Aron Davis, who had been renting the building since 1948, bought the property for $30,000.00.

2001: Aron Davis sold the building to Harvey Robbins for $30,000.00.

January 2002: Harvey Robbins sold the building to Rausch and Rausch for $35,000.00.

At the time of this last purchase the building was in very poor condition. Most of the windows were gone and birds lived on the top floor. The roof had leaked and caused several of the floors to rot. The bottom floor was used for storage, and everything was covered in plastic. To join the two building we removed the wall between them. We have also removed most of the third story floors, resulting in the twenty-six foot ceiling of the main studio, and a steel truss system was installed to hold up the roof and walls.

We have recycled as much of the building as possible. We were able to use the sinks and many of the fixtures, as well as all of the floors that had not succumbed to rot. We used the floor joists as both stair treads and table and countertops. The bat-and-board ceilings now server as our cabinets, ceilings, and wall coverings. One of the greatest surprises in the building was the freight elevator. The elevator was so old and dirty we did not expect it to work. However, after cleaning it up we discovered that it worked well. The building is teeming with creative energy, and is now the home of GAS Studio.

Tuscumbia is one of the first town to be settled in Alabama, and was also home to the state’s first movie theater and retail space. Tuscumbia’s blue skies and lush foliage are abundant throughout both its urban and rural areas. These things, in addition to the city’s Native American heritage, beautiful southern architecture, and lower cost of living, make Tuscumbia ideal for most types of photography and film.