Rebuilding; Not Alone

Rebuilding; Not Alone

We are rebuilding, and have now almost completely rebuilt! But please don’t think that we’ve done this all on our own; multiple donors have stepped up to help us, both corporate and private, including, but not limited to:

Chris and Morgane Stapleton, Tyler Childers, Dwight Yoakum, Ricky Skaggs, Patty Loveless and The Bluegrass Community Foundation, Hope for the Hills, Billy Strings via the Newport Folk Festival Foundation, The Kentucky Arts Council, The Kentucky Council for the Humanities, The Berea College Appalachian Fund, Woodcraft Supply, Stewart McDonald, PBS Craft in America, The Education Foundation of America, CERF +, the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, the National Disaster Recovery Fund for Archives, Currier’s Music World of Richmond, John Hamlett, Louise Boggs, Carol Herbert, John Kugelman, Kluson/WD Music, Malcolm and Amy Wilson, Nancy Galambush in memory of JC Bradshaw, Diane Turell, and Pat Noble. We also want to thank the numerous donors to our successful GoFundMe campaign, which wouldn’t have been possible without the brilliant work of Curren & Elaine Sheldon! Too many neighbors to list, but they all know who they are. That’s the great thing about neighbors!

And a very special thanks to Dr. Jennifer Lyndon of the Hazard Community and Technical College for brilliantly championing our efforts to return to work in our beloved, original factory building.  And thanks also to Matt White and his crew for their many months of hard work rebuilding downtown Hindman!

For the rest of my life, whenever I hear anyone speak of having wind in his or her sails, I will remember all of these people, who have risen to meet us in our hour of distress.  Their love and support and have surely pushed us all the way back home.

– Doug Naselroad, Director

Beyond Belief

Beyond Belief

Beyond belief, that morning in July. To begin with, no one here really believed that such a thing could or would happen, not really. Historically, the creek would only come up so high and crest, and some of us with low-lying parking lots would have mud, at worst. You know, that well-named creek, Troublesome. Pesky sometimes.

Even at 2:00 am, when the power first dropped, and household white noises were supplanted by the steady thrumming of warm, summer rain, I looked out from my second-story apartment window over darkened Hindman and allowed that it would be a good night for sleeping. It was not.

Within just a few moments, the steady hum of rain had grown into a jet-engine howl and my cellphone began to alarm. I found a small flashlight and several inches of water shooting down Main Street. No surprise there, and flash flooding right in town seemed unlikely. For a few minutes, I attempted to go back to sleep. Within the hour, however, an odd, repetitive clunking emanated from downstairs in the school. Maybe Paul was down there, come to check on things? If only! What I was hearing was the sound of large objects floating around in the studio. Raising the window again, I focused that dim little flashlight on the parking lot of Jones Insurance just in time to watch my car going under. Hindman going under. Time seems to compress. Things are now smashing into the building, shattering windows and doors. A deafening roar rises up from Main Street. A white box trailer floats down past on its side, chased by garbage cans and lots of furniture. Indoor furniture.

At first light, I waded out to survey the damage. A dulcimer and a cased guitar raced away in the receding flood waters; I just barely managed to run over and retrieve them. I removed the log jamming open the luthiery door, hoping to keep anything else from floating off as the water level came down.

But the damage was done. The Appalachian School of Luthiery, the Appalachian Artisan Center studios, the Museum of the Mountain Dulcimer, and the Troublesome Creek Stringed Instrument Company were all destroyed. And as the morning light came fully on, so did the realization that there would likely be much worse damage out there in the county; I knew in reason that if things were that bad in downtown Hindman, that the situation would far more serious for folks up and down the creek. And God help us, it was.

— Doug Naselroad, Director of Troublesome Creek Stringed Instrument Co.

Rough Night on Troublesome Creek

March came in really hard on Troublesome with near-record flooding this past week.  The month was was only a few hours old when Vernon Douglas Jones caught this glimpse of the creek trying take away our factory.  No great harm done, however!  Hindman was only hit a glancing blow overall, especially when compared to other Eastern Kentucky communities, some of which were ravaged hard.  We lost some things stored in the basement of the Appalachian School of Luthiery, and a stack of black locust lumber tried to float down to the river, but that was about it.  Whew!