It’s kind of hard to believe that one of North Alabama’s biggest tourist attractions started with a borrowed pick-up truck and a $300 loan. A man named Doyle Owens drove to Washington, DC in 1970 and bought a load of unclaimed luggage. That trip turned into a business which first occupied a rented house before becoming 40,000 square feet full of just about anything you can think of.
People flock from all around the world to check out the store on Willow Street in Scottsboro. A lot of them are driven by the thought of finding a good deal. I will say that, yes, you can find a deal if you really look. I’m actually writing this post on a laptop that was bought from the UBC. However, to me, it’s about the treasure hunt. You never know what you’ll find! I personally like looking at all of the random t-shirts and sweatshirts that arrive.
Peppered throughout the store are a few of the more unusual items that they’ve received in shipments through the years. These items are not for sale, but are still really cool to look at.
The Golden Arches: Somewhere down the line, somebody lost not one, but two signs featuring the iconic McDonald’s logo. Seriously, who loses the Golden Arches?!? This arrived at the Unclaimed Baggage Center in 2011.
Stand-up Paddle Board: I would guess this paddle board is at least 12 feet long. It’s been around the store since 2012.
But arguably the coolest piece on display comes from the 1986 Jim Henson movie Labyrinth.
Does it look familiar? That’s a Hoggle puppet from the movie. It’s about 4 feet tall. It greets you if you turn to the left after entering the first door.
Other things to know:
-There about 7,000 new items put on the floor every day.
-Saturdays are really busy. You can avoid some of the crowds if you can go on a weekday. If football isn’t your thing, you’ll notice that some of the Saturday crowds are a little bit lighter during an Alabama Crimson Tide football game in the fall.
-Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Saturday 8:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
-Address: 509 West Willow Street (also known as Highway 35), Scottsboro, AL 35768. It’s about 40 miles from downtown Huntsville, with a lot of the driving done on I-565/Highway 72.