How Superstorm Sandy Created a One-of-a-Kind Guitar Series
If you ever find yourself in Bushkill Township, PA, you may get to see some of the rarest guitars in the world – the unlikely result of Superstorm Sandy.
Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center, part of the state parks in the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, encompasses 1,168 acres of forests, fields, and creeks, and was hit hard when Superstorm Sandy came through the U.S. east coast in October 2012. The storm damage caused them to lose many of their biggest trees, which, compounded with a heavy snowstorm the year before, meant the park spent much of the storm’s aftermath cutting up felled trees.
Enter C.F. Martin & Co. The world-renowned guitar maker is a favorite of musicians including Willy Nelson, the Avett Brothers, the late Chris Cornell, David Crosby, and many more, and happens to be headquartered down the road from Jacobsburg in Upper Nazareth Township. As part of its sustainability efforts, the company decided the trees could still have use, as a series of three specially crafted acoustic guitars.
The instruments exist as living pieces of the park itself. According to Martin, the design features “book-matched Norway spruce for the top and the internal braces, white oak for the back, sides and head-plate, and ash for the neck. The unique inlays in the red oak fingerboard feature a variety of insects that may be found in the park.”
The inlay artist even hand-inlaid into the pick-guard the logo of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. You can see these first-hand examples of creation after destruction by visiting the Jacobsburg visitors’ center and the Martin Guitar factory (the third is kept in the Martin archives).