Born and raised in Barbour County, Marian Bargewell graduated from Eufaula High School in 1969 and Auburn University in 1972.
“I grew up on a farm and I absolutely loved the small town and the farm life, and just good friends and it was good,” she said. “I say all the time, I’d give a million dollars to relive my childhood — and I would. It was good.”
In every aspect of her life — from her sunny disposition to her willingness to connect with characters from around the globe — Marian exudes the same goodness that she admires most about her hometown.
From 1969 to 2005, it seems as though the entire world had the chance to borrow Marian from Eufaula: she and her husband traveled from Georgia to North Carolina to Germany to the Netherlands. Always intrigued and interested by the styles of antique furniture and objects, Marian accepted her first position working with antiques at an English shop in Stuttgart, Germany. What began as a theme that she and her husband used to tie together their own furniture developed into a life-long career researching, purchasing, and selling beautifully aged treasures.
Before the idea of retiring in Eufaula even crossed her mind, Marian made it a point to attend as many Pilgrimages as possible. She’d return each spring to tour the homes. In 2005, she and her husband returned for good to Eufaula just one week before the 45th annual Pilgrimage. They’d considered the possibility of moving to her husband’s hometown of Seattle, but quickly and definitively decided that was not for them. Instead, they bounced around the idea of potentially relocating to North Carolina, ultimately and excitedly deciding to land in Eufaula to be closer to her mother. That year, Marian immediately volunteered to work with Pilgrimage organizers in the Cato House.
“When I moved back to Eufaula, I started working with antiques again,” Marian said.
Initially, she worked alongside Judy McCullough at Seth Lore Antiques from 2006 to 2012. Then, she began her current position working for Iverson Blackman’s Antiques off of the Montgomery Highway. Since 2015, Marian has been the chairperson of the Pilgrimage Antique Show, which annually inhabits the Chamber. “It is the most fun weekend because everyone is in a good, happy mood,” she said.
In chairing the show, Marian contributes to all of the excitement by bringing antique dealers in from Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas, to share unique inventories with Pilgrimage visitors.