Cripple Creek and Cedar Creek -- how did one become 2?

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Cripple Creek and Cedar Creek -- how did one become 2?

Postby The Mousetrapezoid » Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:17 pm

When is a Cripple Creek dulcimer not a Cripple Creek? (...at least, not anymore...)

Recently I bought a used mountain dulcimer on Ebay as a starter instrument. As I said in another thread recently, Ebay is like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates: you never know what'cher gonna get.

The provenance on my "Box of Chocolates" teardrop MD is getting curiouser and curiouser. It was listed on Ebay as a Cripple Creek dulcimer and, indeed, the label inside says "Cripple Creek Dulcimers" but with an address in "Harbor Town Mall, Branson, MO" and with the phone number that is listed on the Cedar Creek website! Included in the shipment was an old brochure/sales-receipt from "Cedar Creek Dulcimers" -- and the logo is in the same set of typefaces as the "Cripple Creek" label inside the instrument. The brochure lists a "Red Mountain" model made of walnut and birch veneer, similar to what I bought, as having been part of the original sale along with a "deerskin pick pouch" (also included in the Ebay auction -- it is stamped with the "Cripple Creek" name!).

Cedar Creek now has a different address in Branson, and the Cripple Creek Dulcimers folks are in Manitou Springs, Colorado. The current Cripple Creek website lists a "Red Mountain Teardrop Pro" model ("solid hardwoods and softwoods"). The Ebay auction description only said, "...Believe it to be a Red Mountain model." But the Cedar Creek website lists an MD of exactly the same size, shape and depth, made of "birch laminate" (like my newly-purchased MD) and named the "Red Meadow". The Red Meadow pictured has very nearly the same (but not exactly the same) moon-and-stars pattern as my MD.

The oddest thing about my Crippled-cedar Creek "Red Meadow-on-the-Mountain" model ( :roll: ) is that the fingerboard does not have a strum hollow! I can't find this no-hollow fingerboard as an option or a photo on the website of either "Creek". Strange.

Seems obvious that Cripple Creek and Cedar Creek split up or grew away from each other somewhere along the line. Can anyone out there fill me in on the history of this parting of the ways? Also, I notice that the Cedar Creek hourglass MD's bear an almost-exact resemblance to T.K. O'Brien's "Walnut Creek" hourglass MDs. What is the story behind all these "Creeks"?? :shock: :shock: :shock:
The Mousetrapezoid
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Re: Cripple Creek and Cedar Creek -- how did one become 2?

Postby Geekling » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:22 pm

Hi, Mousetrapezoid! :) I purchased a vintage, 1975 Cripple Creek dulcimer from eBay last year, and it also came with a Cripple Creek brochure that listed what must’ve been an earlier address for Cedar Creek Dulcimers. As you have surmised, there was indeed a relationship between the two companies. I’d tell you more, but since everything I know about this was told to me by Joe Sanguinette (http://everythingdulcimer.com/index.php ... erid=51891), you’re better off asking him for yourself! Joe’s a really nice guy, so I’m sure he’d be glad to help.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy your “new” Cripple Creek dulcimer! Mine’s the Cripple Creek model, by the way. It has vine soundholes, and it’s made of birch veneer and walnut. Of course, these days, most of the big dulcimer makers have switched to solid wood, but I suspect that the veneer contributes to my Cripple Creeks’s sweet, sensitive sound. I love it! :D

The Mousetrapezoid wrote:When is a Cripple Creek dulcimer not a Cripple Creek? (...at least, not anymore...)

Recently I bought a used mountain dulcimer on Ebay as a starter instrument. As I said in another thread recently, Ebay is like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates: you never know what'cher gonna get.

The provenance on my "Box of Chocolates" teardrop MD is getting curiouser and curiouser. It was listed on Ebay as a Cripple Creek dulcimer and, indeed, the label inside says "Cripple Creek Dulcimers" but with an address in "Harbor Town Mall, Branson, MO" and with the phone number that is listed on the Cedar Creek website! Included in the shipment was an old brochure/sales-receipt from "Cedar Creek Dulcimers" -- and the logo is in the same set of typefaces as the "Cripple Creek" label inside the instrument. The brochure lists a "Red Mountain" model made of walnut and birch veneer, similar to what I bought, as having been part of the original sale along with a "deerskin pick pouch" (also included in the Ebay auction -- it is stamped with the "Cripple Creek" name!).

Cedar Creek now has a different address in Branson, and the Cripple Creek Dulcimers folks are in Manitou Springs, Colorado. The current Cripple Creek website lists a "Red Mountain Teardrop Pro" model ("solid hardwoods and softwoods"). The Ebay auction description only said, "...Believe it to be a Red Mountain model." But the Cedar Creek website lists an MD of exactly the same size, shape and depth, made of "birch laminate" (like my newly-purchased MD) and named the "Red Meadow". The Red Meadow pictured has very nearly the same (but not exactly the same) moon-and-stars pattern as my MD.

The oddest thing about my Crippled-cedar Creek "Red Meadow-on-the-Mountain" model ( :roll: ) is that the fingerboard does not have a strum hollow! I can't find this no-hollow fingerboard as an option or a photo on the website of either "Creek". Strange.

Seems obvious that Cripple Creek and Cedar Creek split up or grew away from each other somewhere along the line. Can anyone out there fill me in on the history of this parting of the ways? Also, I notice that the Cedar Creek hourglass MD's bear an almost-exact resemblance to T.K. O'Brien's "Walnut Creek" hourglass MDs. What is the story behind all these "Creeks"?? :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Re: Cripple Creek and Cedar Creek -- how did one become 2?

Postby Tom Arnold » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:24 pm

Cedar Creek Dulcimers began in the 1980's when Troy Heard broke away from Cripple Creek because he wanted to start building on his own. Today, the building
is done by a small group of builders in a small southwest Missouri town.

The Cedar Creek Red Meadow model has similarities to the Cripple Creek Red Mountain model. The Cedar Creek Cedar Creek model resembles the
Cripple Creek Cripple Creek model.

Over the years the Cedar Creek Dulcimer Shop in Branson has relocated several times. It is currently located in the Music Road Mall (which is between the Hollywood
Wax Museum and Presley's Country Jubilee on Highway 76). A second store is located at Silver Dollar City.

The builders also build mountain dulcimers for T.K. O'Brien, hence, the similarity there.

I hope this helps!
Tom Arnold
Salesman
Cedar Creek Dulcimers
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Re: Cripple Creek and Cedar Creek -- how did one become 2?

Postby joe sanguinette » Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:47 am

when the heard's opened their cedar creek shop they sold mainly instruments made by cripple creek.
this accounts for your dulcimer having both labels

as has been pointed out the cedar creek dulcimers now are made by some very skilled craftsmen in missouri.
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