"74 Fiddles - Violet Hensley" by Joe York


Violet Hensley, known as the "Whittling Fiddler," "Stradivarius of the Ozarks" or more simply, the "Fiddle Maker," has always been resourceful. Her mother died when she was 11, forcing her to learn the many skills needed for daily life on her family's farm in Mt. Ida, Arkansas. At age 15 she told her father, who also made fiddles, that she wanted to make her own fiddle. Since then, Hensley, who lives in Yellville, has made 74 fiddles, many of which she played at Silver Dollar City, where she demonstrated for nearly four decades. Produced by the Historic Arkansas Museum in collaboration with the Arkansas Arts Council and their Arkansas's Living Treasures award.