Mellie Dunham

Mellie Dunham working on a snowshoe

Mellie Dunham working on a snowshoe

Mellie Dunham playing the fiddle.

Mellie Dunham, 1853-1931

Mellie Dunham (Alanson Mellen Dunham) was a fiddler and snowshoe maker. Born in 1853 in Norway, Maine, Mellie earned a modicum of fame in two ways. He played fiddle for an adoring Henry Ford (who loved country music, apparently) and made snowshoes for a Robert Peary arctic expedition. A few more details can be found in Wikipedia.

The Recordings

Rippling Wave Waltz

 record label Group: Mellie Dunham and His Orchestra
Label: Victor Matrix Number: Victor (20001)
Record Type: Double sided 10 inch 78 RPM
Date Recorded: January 26, 1926
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Boston Fancy

 record label Group: Mellie Dunham and His Orchestra
Label: Victor Matrix Number: Victor (20001)
Record Type: Double sided 10 inch 78 RPM
Date Recorded: January 26, 1926
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Mountain Rangers

 record label Group: Mellie Dunham and his Orchestra
Label: Victor Matrix Number: Victor (19940)
Record Type: Double sided 10 inch 78 RPM
Date Recorded: January 19, 1926
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This is a recording of Mellie Dunham and his Orchestra playing for a contra dance. Mellie calls the dance and plays the fiddle.

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Lady of the Lake

 record label Group: Mellie Dunham and his Orchestra
Label: Victor Matrix Number: Victor (19940)
Record Type: Double sided 10 inch 78 RPM
Date Recorded: January 19, 1926
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Here’s another recording of Mellie Dunham and his Orchestra playing for a contra dance. Mellie calls the dance and plays the fiddle.

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Comments

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7 thoughts on “Mellie Dunham”

  1. Stephen T. Seames says:

    Our Great-Grandfather’s cousin we grew up listening to these records on my gram’s victrola
    so thankful thank you for Sharing

    1. DownAndOut says:

      Stephen – Mellie Dunham is your great grandfather’s cousin? That is so cool! Thanks for writing us!

      –Thomas

  2. Holly says:

    My father has a stone with Mellie Dunham’s name on it along with the legend “Norway Maine June 9th 1929”. I’m guessing someone wrote on the stone to commemorate attending an outdoor concert.

    1. DownAndOut says:

      If you send a picture, we’d be more than happy to attach it to Mr. Dunham’s page. Thank you for writing!

      –Thomas

    2. DownAndOut says:

      Holly – If you send a picture, we’d be more than happy to attach it to Mr. Dunham’s page. Thank you for writing!

      –Thomas

  3. Jamison Kester says:

    I’m the great great grandson of Alanson Mellen Dunham and think it’s totally awesome you have his music up online. I’ve only found a few recordings on YouTube and my family from Otisfield, ME doesn’t have any recordings that I’m aware of. I was gifted his snowshoes, several pairs of moose hide slippers he made, and a messenger bag gifted to him and made by H.H. Hosmer who was also a fidelist, snowshoe maker, and friend of Mellie. Thanks so much for posting these. If you have them available on vinyl I’d love to purchase a few copies.

    1. T Burns says:

      Jamison – Thank you for writing! If you send us photos of any of your mementos, we would gladly publish them to the Mellie Dunham page! We do not have any of these recordings on vinyl. They are the old medium on 78 RPM records, shellac. We love these recordings!

      –Thomas

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