The self-proclaimed
Mountain Misfit
of North Carolina

Now you may have thought
that Edsel used a fancy knife
like this to do his whittlein

Well, you'd be wrong. What
he loved and used were
either Barlow Knives or
ever favorite Old Timer Knives.

Born around Black Mountain, North Carolina, Edsel Martin comes from a long line of musicians
and "whittlers." Besides creating wooden figures that portrayed the poverty and struggle of living
in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, he was a simple philosopher and good friend.
Edsel also built and played his own dulcimers. If you have never seen a dulcimer, work your way
down the page where there are loads of pictures . Edsel's dulcimers were famed for their sound,
extra long bodies, and beautiful carvings at the peg head end of the dulcimer. Edsel was not one
for production work and so he turned out a limited number of very unique instruments during his life time.

At one point we had nine of them. Why. you ask? That's simple. Each one was a work of art;
different woods, different shapes and different carvings at the tuning end. If you happen to be a
mong the lucky few who happens to own one, then hang on to it. We currently own four of them.

One of our dulcimers is a double dulcimer (also know as a courting dulcimer). It is the very first one
that he ever made. We had a second one made for a friend and to our knowledge, he never made
another double dulcimer. A number of famous people have purchased one of Edsel's dulcimers.
Bob Hope owned one. Several of Edsel's dulcimers
are displayed in the
Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C..

We used to love our visits with Edsel. For four days, we would sit around the fire

roasting potatoes, playing music, and talking about what we were going to do on the fifth day
and then on the fifth day, we would sit around the fire roasting potatoes, playing music, and talking
about why we didn't do it. There are many interesting and
amusing stories we could share with you
about Edsel Martin if we were sitting around the fire, roasting potatoes, making music,
and talking.

If you would like to contact us, we can be found at
Edsel demonstrating
his carving skills at a
Crafts Fair in North Carolina.

Edsel demonstrating
his carving skills at
Bloomingdale's in New York City

Edsel fascinated a group of
school children

carving a block of pine .

Edsel looking a bit shy on the
plaza of the United Nations
Building in New York City.

When he was in New York.
we spent a great deal of time
taking Edsel to all of the
"tourist" sites. Here he
is in
the General Assembly
meeting hall in the
United Nations building.

Edsel's friend, clog dances
You could always tell
where Edsel has been.

These are the hands that
that carved dulcimers .

Edsel demonstrating
at avCrafts Fair

Edsel was a gentle man
with a fluid voice .

Edsel making music with
his friend, Bill McElreath

Edsel carves at the
United Nations gift shop

For many years, Bill was
N. C. Buck Dancing champion
Edsel's father, Marcus Martin,
(left) champion fiddle player

Bill McElreath's dancing.

Edsel's long time friend
Bill McElreath.
He was a wonderful and
beloved mountain character.
Yes, he is holding
a dead rattlesnake.

All carvings reflect
the hard life of the poor
people who lived in the
Blue Ridge Mountains
of North Carolina
in the early part of the
Twentieth Century .

These figure honor the
struggle of life in the
Blue Ridge Mountains
of North Carolina

Edsel love to carve birds
of all kinds.

He had an eye for color

Above and below
are two close-up
of the bird head
on one of our four
Edsel Martin dulcimers


Above and below are
views of
the lady's head.


It is our sincere hope that you have enjoyed and appreciated this tribute
to a very special friend and human being, Edsel Martin, North Carolina misfit.
Lovingly, Rachael and Richard Heller

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© Copyright 2007 - The layout, format and a number of the pictures are the property of
Drs. Rachael and Richard Heller and cannot be used
without their specific written permission