Recently I was invited to view the guitars of Carl Sandburg at the Carl Sandburg Home — a National Historic Site located in Flat Rock, North Carolina. In addition to being a famous writer and Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Carl Sandburg was an accomplished folksinger that helped preserve many of America’s great folksongs through his book The American Songbag.
My guide for my tour of the Sandburg archives was Miriam Farris, a Museum Technician at the Carl Sandburg Home. Miriam took me to a large building that is completely air-conditioned and secure. This building houses Sandburg’s guitars and also his paintings, books, gun collections and other artifacts.
One by one Miriam brought out the guitars that were owned by Carl Sandburg and used regularly in performances for his own enjoyment. One thing that was readily apparent as I viewed the guitars was that these were not fancy ornate instruments that collected dust. Rather, these were very simple guitars that were used daily and enjoyed by Carl Sandburg and his family. I can imagine him finding these instruments as he traveled across the country and bringing them back home with a smile on his face.
There are indeed some unique pieces in this collection including a Lyon and Healy Washburn Bell-Shaped guitar, model 5270, that was quite interesting. In addition, there is a pear-shaped English Lute that was very beautiful.
The home and the entire farm is extremely beautiful. I highly recommend that visitors to the Asheville area visit the Sandburg home and enjoy all that it has to offer. Tell them Dream Guitars sent you!
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