Just Junkin’ Around Lookout Mountain Alabama
Just Junkin’ Around Lookout Mountain Alabama
By Emma Goggans
Fall has officially arrived, but while we are waiting on Mother Nature to catch up, we can explore this area in another way…Just Junkin!
The drive north along the Lookout Mountain Parkway toward beautiful Desoto State Park can be long, but it is filled with gorgeous scenery, no matter the time of year, and also a brief look into what life is like in Fort Payne, Alabama. Rolling green pastures, quaint country cottages, and a giant metal dinosaur. Wait, what? A giant metal dinosaur, did you read that right? Yes, you did in fact read that right. In the Fischer Crossroads area there is a giant metal dinosaur that can be seen smiling at you from the side of the road. Don’t be alarmed, this is just the work of local junk artist Ekim Snaggog.
Flip those letters around, and you get Mike Goggans who is an average family man born and raised in Fort Payne, Alabama. Mike is a professional land surveyor at Ladd Engineering. He has a wife, three kids, and eight grandkids. Mike has many artistic abilities other than sculpting. He is a musician and played in a band with his siblings called The Malibou Mountain Band. Mike can also draw, construct, and is a very innovative thinker.
In 1999, Mike built his first creation, a ten-foot-tall robot named Lirpa Anad Nitsud. What’s the story behind this robot’s crazy name? It is actually the name of Mike’s children spelled backwards: April, Dana, and Dustin. Lirpa was built using a variety of pieces. One example is Lirpa’s biceps, which are made of car hubcaps. This crazy creation is what sparked Mike’s interest in junk sculpting, and twenty years later there are nearly thirty creations under Mike’s belt. However, the crowning jewel of Mike’s creations is Junkosaurus Wrecks, a life-sized dinosaur.
Junkosaurus Wrecks: “How many dinosaurs have you thrown away?”
Over a period of ten years, Mike Goggans took on his biggest feat yet: creating a life-sized dinosaur. Junkosaurus stands at a whopping twenty-one feet tall and weighs approximately one and a half tons. He consists of over two thousand pieces of junk. Anything as small as a spark plug to as large as an entire lawn mower. Some other examples of pieces used are garden tools, shop tools, automotive parts, personal care and hygiene items, toys, and cell phones. The life-sized dinosaur was built using thousands of nuts, bolts, washers, and wire. Junkosaurus Wrecks is a must-see attraction on Lookout Mountain.
Other Creations by Ekim Snaggog include: Spongebob, Trashhopper, The Ostritch, Vacumnator, Tee Little Turtle, Bugly Ug, Ole Uncle Ant, Bird is the Word, Junkaroo and Baby Roo, Crane, Zerg-Zing Gugblot: Ruler of Grits and Cornbread, Spido and Baby, Birdie, and Rattle Headed Copper Moccasin.
You can also check out Ekim Snaggog’s new album “Ambition” featuring some of his original songs as well. Find it wherever you stream music.
Mike’s creations are currently located at what he calls “The Fischer Lot” (4616 Desoto Pkwy NE, Fort Payne, AL 35967). However, for 23 years Mike’s creations were housed at the unique building beside his lot: The Barnyard. In the past, The Barnyard was a rentable venue that held many musical events. It is now under new management, has a new purpose, and a new name: Barnyard Antiques
Barnyard Antiques is a family owned and operated small business atop Lookout Mountain in Fort Payne. Inside the walls of this rustic building is a treasure trove of good finds. The collection at Barnyard Antiques is 20 years in the making. From antique furniture to small collectibles, they have it all! The new owners are residents of Lookout Mountain and are passionate about bringing The Barnyard back to its former glory. They are hoping to bring back live music and food vendors in the near future. Barnyard Antiques is open Friday-Sunday from 11 AM to 4 PM. They are adding new merchandise every week, so be sure to stop by!
The Barnyard is an attraction that is unique to Lookout Mountain, so don’t just pass it by! As you drive along Desoto Parkway, take the time to stop and walk around Mike’s junk sculpture lot. Maybe take a picture with Junkosaurus Wrecks. Then, make your way over to Barnyard Antiques and browse their amazing collection. Enjoy this special place because I can assure you, you will never find anything like it again!
Interested in antiquing? DeKalb County is filled with amazing antique shops! Here are 7 other antique shops to visit while you are here:
- Big Mill Co-Artisans and Antiques
The Big Mill Co – Artisans & Antiques is a staple in Fort Payne, Alabama. This unique shop is housed in the historical W.B. Davis Hosiery Mill. The building was constructed in 1889 by the Alabama Builders Hardware Manufacturing Company. It was purchased in 1915 and operated as a hosiery mill. The building now holds 21,000 square feet of antiques and collectibles. The Big Mill Co is open Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 4 PM.
- Ayres Antiques
Ayres Antiques is located in the quirky town of Mentone, Alabama. Ayres has a wide variety of antiques, uniques, collectibles, primitives, furniture, jewelry, and rustiques. Ayres Antiques is open Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 12-5.
- Dave’s Antiques
Dave’s Antiques is an antiquer’s dream. This junk-lovers paradise features a showroom so large visitors can easily get lost. Dave’s is filled with antiques, vintage fabrics, clothes, jewelry, and collectibles. Dave’s Antiques is located in Hammondville, Alabama and is open Monday through Saturday 10 AM to 4 PM, and on Sunday from 12 PM to 4 PM.
- Bear Trap Antiques
Bear Trap Antiques is a family owned and operated business, with over 5000 sq ft of antiques and collectibles. Bear Trap Antiques is located in beautiful Geraldine Alabama across from the post office. Bear Trap Antiques is open Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 4 PM.
- Vintage 75
Vintage 75, located in Ider, Alabama, is a booth rental shop. They have furniture, home decor, antiques, glassware, shoes, clothes & everything in between. Vintage 75 is open Thursday through Friday from 10 AM to 5 PM, and Saturday from 8 AM to 3 PM.
- Relics: Antiques and Collectibles
Relics: Antiques and Collectibles is located in historic downtown Fort Payne. Relics carries a huge selection of records, cd’s, dvd’s, collectibles, books, pop culture items, comics, baseball & football cards and so much more! Relics is also always looking for albums, CD’s, DVD’s, rock’n’roll items, sports cards and sports memorabilia to purchase for their shop. So, if you have any pieces you are wanting to sell, Relics is the place to go! Relics is open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM.
- Down on Mainstreet
Down on Mainstreet is a thrift and consignment store located in Crossville, Alabama. They offer a wide variety of items from houseware, health & beauty, fashion, furniture, and antiques. Down on Mainstreet is open Tuesday from 10 AM to 2 PM, Wednesday through Friday from 10 AM to 4 PM, and Saturday from 8 AM to 2 PM.