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Friday, May 26, 2017

OUR VALLEY

Harrisonburg, Va.

Photos by Nikki Fox / DN-R

ABOVE, BELOW: Stephen Showalter, a luthier who makes guitars and other smaller, stringed instruments, makes the back of a new guitar. Showalter sources local woods like spruce and maple for his instruments.

Strumming Along Linville Luthier Sources Local Materials By KELLY CLARK Daily News-Record

LINVILLE — Some collectors have drawers of coins or shelves of rare comic books. Stephen Showalter has a room of 14 handmade guitars. They are made of such local woods as red spruce and maple, or more exotic woods, including Haitian mahogany and Guatemalan rosewood. A ukulele, a dulcimer and a mandolin also share floor and wall space. What the instruments all have in common are the hands that made them: Showalter’s. The 66-year-old retired brickmason launched Showalter Guitars in 2013. He builds instruments in a workshop next to his home in Linville and sells them online at showalterguitars.com. “I was thinking about retirement, and I asked myself, ‘What would I do?’” he said during an April interview at his workshop. See STRUMMING, Page 15

Our Valley