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ACHS: A violin mystery you could help solve

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“Violins were made in Allegany County?”

Do you have a century-old Slocum violin ?

By Ron Taylor, Historian from the Allegany County Historical Society

Yes, Violins (& yes, sometimes they are called fiddles) have been built in Allegany County and in case you didn’t know, we have a story to tell.  We want to hear about any other stories of violins/fiddles being built locally in Allegany County.  Please contact me at the Allegany County Historical Society in Andover via email: [email protected]  Do you have a violin with a story attached that you would like to share with the Allegany County Historical Society Museum?  Let us know!  We are open Wednesdays through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. if you would like to visit.  

The Story…”Looking for a Slocum Violin”

A man lived to a very ripe old age of 87 years at Andover.  Of interest to one of our history transcribers a couple years ago was the obituary which told some interesting facts of David Slocum who was a carpenter most of his life.  He also built at least 10 violins.  David was born in 1827 and died in 1915.  Andover was his home for nearly 75 years and he is buried in the Slocum Cemetery next to the family house.

The story expands…. A lady who is a descendent of David Slocum and lives outside of New York State, has daughters who play violins and discovered the article posted on our website.  She followed up by visiting and emailing us at the History Museum in Andover.  She is interested in finding one of the violins so that her daughter who is ill might be able to play a violin that was built by her third-great grandfather and be proud.

Is there a violin out there that has survived the 100+ years since it was built and was built by David Slocum?  It would be a slim chance indeed, a dream perhaps, but, I just had to ask!!  Dreams do come true!!

You can respond to my email shown above.  To read more about David Slocum go to our website, AlleganyHistory.org

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