I lived there myself and have family there. There were more than a few dulcimers around there. I have one that is supposed to come my way, it was built in the 1940’s and is fully fretted. Chet lived outside of town, not sure exactly where. He said his first one wasn’t very good. Didn’t start building seriously until he moved to Dayton.
Dulcimer Maker ID
Great find! I own two of Chet’s instruments. Yours was called his Masterpiece dulcimer. Ron Ewing apprenticed under Chet and can tell you more about him. There is a bio of Chet in Jean Ritchie’s book Dulcimer People. He built his first dulcimer in 1935 as a teenager in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Yup, I just ran that signature pic through some photo editing filters and compared it with the one on amazon where you can buy his book.........I'd say that despite some differences, after all writing on wood and paper are two different things you are correct.
I believe I'd buy that dulcimore if I were you and it was priced a bit less than a good kidney.
Thank you, Robin! When I read your response, I googled "Bill Davis dulcimer" and found several pictures and forum postings about Mr. Davis and his dulcimers. They were similar to my dulcimer, but not exact. One of the postings said that this shape was used by Bill Davis and by another maker, Chet Hines. I checked the signature, and I think it appears to be "C. Hines." Mystery solved!