Friday, April 22, 2016

Violin made with a Pocket Knife

On April 13 I published the following news clipping about Ocracoke native Stanford Jackson (1859-1944).

For ease of reading, here is a transcript of the above article, almost certainly written by Aycock Brown:

"Ocracoke, July 7. --- Just after the August hurricane of 1899 Stamford [sic] Jackson, then a young man, set out the sprout of a cedar tree in his yard on Ocracoke Island. During the years the sprout grew and reached maturity. Came the September hurricane of 1933, and the cedar was uprooted like many other trees on the island. For many months the trunk of the tree, trimmed of its branches, lay in the open sun. A few weeks ago Stamford decided to make something from the cured wood by which to remember the sprout he set out during his youth.

"The photo shows Mr. Jackson and the result of his labors. With an ordinary pocket knife he fashioned the violin shown in the picture, supplied it with the strings, bridge and other equipment and now he has a violin which expert musicians declare to be a most unusual instrument."

At the time I wrote the April 13 blog post I had just located the photo the prior evening. Chester Lynn found it in a scrapbook, but I hadn't yet made a copy. Below is the photo of Stanford Jackson and his violin.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is Allie (Teenie) Scott's 1968 story of Simon Garrish, Jr. and the US Life-Saving horse, Sambo. You can read it by clicking here:


  1. Anonymous11:00 AM

    Does the violin still exist, perhaps among relatives? Would be neat to see a better photo of it, or perhaps to even hear it play...

    1. I do not know what happened to the violin. To my knowledge, Stanford never had any children. Unfortunately, I have never seen a better photo of the violin.