The Man From Vermont
Charles Ross Taggart (b. March 19, 1871, Topsham, Orange County, Vermont; d. 1953, Kents Hill, Maine)
This is a scan from a photocopy of a 1927 issue of The Vermonter--"The State Magazine"--which featured a lengthy story about Charles Ross Taggart, my maternal grandfather--"Grandpa" to me. The caption under the photo reads, "The Old Country Fiddler Hears His Own Voice." He made several records for Victor, or Victrola, and our family does still have most of them somewhere, I believe. In the 1960s my brother and I had several of them taped for a set of LPs that we distributed among family members; I don't know what's happened to them, either, though I have the tapes (reel-to-reel), and may have one set of the LPs in my collection, if I can find it.
The caption reads, "'The Man from Vermont' in his back yard at Elmbank trying out a jig-tune." This picture, also scanned from the same photocopied article as the above, would have been taken about 10 years before I was born, and while I did eventually get to see from the street the to-me legendary house called Elm Bank, in Newbury, Vermont, while in my mid-teens, it had long been sold and occupied by a new family. I also never saw him with his red/auburn hair, which was white by the time I showed up. But although he'd retired for health reasons by the time I got to know him, I did get to hear him play, over the years, as he constantly continued to practice, strapping the bow to his hand with a loose rubber band since he'd lost most of the feeling in it when he'd had his stroke. I only wish I'd learned something of his music, then.
Despite his serious mien in this promotional portrait, he had a great sense of humor, as seen in the first picture above, and in the promotional spread below. Among his other talents, he was a photographer, and loved to do trick photography, as in the several shots where he is interacting with himself that he provided for this feature.