Legend of Morgan Monroe Mandolins

March 25, 2016


Legend has it, generations ago in the hills of southern Indiana lived a man named Morgan Monroe who was a musical craftsmen that shaped the local hardwoods into the finest stringed instruments around, and in the process he turned the local timber supply into national folklore. Finding just the right grade of tonewood from the forest was always an all day affair for Morgan Monroe and it was not uncommon for him to search from sun-up to sun-down for just the right materials. After he hand selected the perfect timber it was then cut, cleared and dragged many miles by a team of horses through the forest where it was finally stacked and cured until it reached the optimum point to begin its metamorphosis from a mighty tree to a musical instrument. 

The aroma of sawdust permeated the air and the sounds of his handtools could be heard emanating from the valley as each instrument was shaped and formed until it was unique and one-of-a-kind. Ol’ Morgan Monroe combined quality and pride in his work and never let an instrument leave his workshop until he certified that it was “perfect”. Then, and only then, was an instrument worthy of the name Morgan Monroe. 

In those days the quality of your product was a direct reflection of who you were as a craftsman and nobody was more committed to achieving the perfect partnership between beauty and tone than Morgan Monroe. 


Nowadays, as the simple life of that early luthier gives way to superhighways and high-rise apartments, the tradition and commitment to detail and tone hasn’t. Still in place at the heart and soul of every Morgan Monroe instrument is the philosophy that you’re only as good as the quality you keep. 

That same wilderness that Morgan Monroe lived and worked in has changed very little over the years, much like the work ethic that made him famous. Its been said that in 1929, after the last original descendants moved from the area, the Morgan-Monroe State Forest was established and now encompasses more than 24,000 acres of Indiana’s finest hardwoods. 

Today when you pick up a Morgan Monroe instrument you can tell from the first note that the high standards he set long ago will never go out of style and the more things change....the more they stay the same. 
This is what legends are made of... 

...this is Morgan Monroe. 

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