On the walls of the Main Street Guitars and Gifts, string instruments of nearly every generation, condition and make hang silently.
Some bear the marks of years of abuse while others gleam brightly, having never had a strum played across their strings.
Owner Anne Eichberger doesn’t believe in sanding out the dents and cigarette burns from the older models – its part of their charm.
“Through the years, the guitar has paid its dues and it is telling its story,” she said.
And Anne can tell you a tale about how she acquired each guitar, from a trade with a local musician to a yard sale to a trip to Mexico.
Anne has personally selected each guitar with husband Jim Eichberger, a trained luthier, doing all repair work.
The couple officially opened the shop Monday, moving into the former location of Todd’s Books, at 410 W. Main Street, suite D.
While there aren’t more than 20 guitars on display at any one time, Anne has a backlog of nearly every type – from auto harps, ukuleles, acoustic, electric and mandolin – varying in price, era and style.
Anne, a lifelong musician, has a passion for preserving instruments and giving them a proper, new home.
After pouring hours of restoration into some, it can be difficult to part, she admitted.
Last year, Jim repaired a Civil War period banjo, fabricating some of the parts from scratch.
But most of the guitars don’t need as extensive work and retail for a few hundred dollars.
There are even guitars for $35.
Besides instruments, the shop also offers lessons, repair work and even a proper tea set.
Teacups, porcelain figurines and other collectibles tie into the overall Victorian charm of the small shop, which Anne and Jim said feels like a living room.
The couple plans to host acoustic jam sessions every Wednesday starting at 7 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m.
This isn’t the first time the Eichberger’s have owned a music shop. From 2002 to 2005, they owned Beeline Music near the then Famous Sam’s Restaurant. In Yuma, they owned the Old Town Guitars on Main Street.
When the couple moved back to Payson several years ago, they dreamed of reopening.
For Anne, music has played through her blood since childhood.
At 5, she started playing melodies on the family’s piano. By 7, she was taking lessons.
When her brother brought a cheap guitar from Mexico home, she was instantly hooked.
Anne would listen to Peter, Paul and Mary and Bob Dylan on a record player and try to emulate it what she heard.
By 1973, she was good enough to play parties.
However, she gave up playing for more than a decade as she raised her three children. It wasn’t until Anne met Jim that the music started again.
Through his encouragement, Anne began playing festivals again and even started a band – the Artichoke Sisters.
Anne has recorded at least half a dozen albums with all original music.
Main Street Guitars and Gifts is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.