Sunday, November 28, 2010

How an 1827 (no. 1582) Brown Drum Got to Montana

Jim Doolittle of Montana wrote to us recently with these photos of his family’s 1827 Eli Brown drum. He included some family history:

The Doolittles settled in the Milford-Woodmont area of Connecticut in the late 1600’s to early 1700’s. Early family members were farmers, ice “harvesters” and deliverers and general handymen.

Jim’s grandfather, Trubee Doolittle, was a banker in Woodmont from the late 1800’s until about 1955. (There is a Trubee Doolittle Park in Woodmont. Also, see Families of Early Milford, Connecticut By Susan Emma Woodruff Abbott.)

Jim’s father, Charles Doolittle, was born in Woodmont in 1921, attended Columbia University Medical School, graduating in 1952, and moved to California with his wife Nancy.

When Trubee died in 1974 the contents of his home on Mark Street were distributed to family members and/or auctioned.

Charles Doolittle acquired the Brown drum at that time from Trubee’s estate. Jim reports that the drum has been in his family for more than 100 years. He does not know, however, how the drum came to be in his family.

When Charles retired in 1963 and moved to Florence, Montana to be near his son Jim, he brought the Brown drum.

Jim reports that the heads and ropes were replaced by Drum Brothers in Arlee, Montana using deerskin (not exactly traditional but easily corrected) and hemp.

Jim inherited the Brown drum from his father when he passed in October, 2009.

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