For fans of bluegrass, this is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a piece of musical history.
It was while he was living in a small cabin in Rosine, Kentucky, when Bill Monroe first learned a number of tunes from his uncle, Pendleton Vandiver. Both of Monroe’s parents had died by the time he was 16, and his “Uncle Pen” took him in for two years, teaching the young man fiddle tunes, working on his timing and accompanied by his uncle’s mandolin.
Monroe’s life and what his estate is now doing is detailed in an article appearing in USA Today, “Bill Monroe estate to sell historic property.”
That cabin went to the bank when Vandiver died. Bill Monroe's son, James, bought the property in 1973 as a gift for his father. James also built another cabin using some of the salvaged logs from the original home. However, now James says that it's time to pass it along to a new owner.
"We've got so much stuff that he left. We can't take care of it all."
This is the second sale of pieces from the Bill Monroe estate in less than a year. Last summer, Monroe’s fans and collectors purchased more than 1,000 items at an estate sale in Gallatin.
The property's eBay page currently lists an asking price of $550,000. Monroe’s cabin is on 2½ acres of land overlooking Rosine, Kentucky. It is about 110 miles north of Nashville, but within walking distance from the cemetery where Monroe, who died in 1996, and Vandiver are buried.
Monroe’s cabin currently welcomes tourists from May to October, but there’s no indication what might happen with new owners regarding whether they might want to keep the cabin as a tourist attraction.
The purchase of the property also comes with name, merchandising and image rights to Pendleton Vandiver as well as several items in the home. That includes one of Monroe's Stetson hats and a BMI award for his classic song "Uncle Pen"—a song that’s been covered countless times by artists ranging from Ricky Skaggs to Phish.
Tuning keys from Monroe’s prized Gibson F-5 mandolin, along with a fiddle Monroe purchased and used as a backup instrument by a number of members of the Blue Grass Boys Band will also be put up for sale. One of the Blue Grass Boys who played that fiddle is Bluegrass Hall of Famer Kenny Baker, adding to the instrument’s cachet.
Reference: USA Today (April 25, 2017) “Bill Monroe estate to sell historic property”
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