Ed Stilley – last of the Ozark homesteaders & guitar maker

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Ed Stilley – Guitars

Dates unknown
Beaver Lake, AR
Guitar artist and musician

The instruments shown was built by one of the last homesteaders of the Ozark Mountains. Ed Stilley of Hogscald Hollar, cut down trees from his land, then nailed and glued them together. It’s fitted with a saw blade pinned by coil springs, welding-rod frets, a couple of door springs and a steak bone nut & saddle sitting on two stacks of dimes. All told, the guitar weighs a good 30 lbs!

All this metal and spring inside the guitar creates a mysterious reverb that Ed describes as the voice of God. Ed has made over 150 instruments and given them all away to children in response to a ‘calling’.

(Photos courtesy of Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations)

Bibliography & Links:

“Rare Visions & Roadside Revelations” (the book), by Randy Mason, Michael Murphy and Don Mayberger, Kansas City Star Publishing, 2002.

“Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations Coast to Coast Travel-o-Pedia” by Randy Mason, et. al., Kansas City Star Books, 2009.

On DVD – Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations, “Miles and Miles o’ Mo-Tex-Arkana”, KCPT, Kansas City Public Television, 1996-2001.