Big Tyler Mountain Dulcimer
Schnaufer's notes for this instrument read as follows: "Big Tyler Mt., West Virginia/1911/Maker - Denis McCown for Helen Melton Saffel/Owner Schnaufer/Purchased from Wanda Parrish (Las Vegas, Nevada), great niece of Helen Saffel, 1987." Wanda Parrish was living in Thorntown, Indiana at the time she sold this instrument to Schnaufer.
As Schnaufer recounted for audiences many times, this instrument was built by Denis McCown of Big Tyler Mountain in attempts to convince one Helen Melton to marry him. She declined, but kept the dulcimer anyway.
Schnaufer played this instrument often, and was photographed by Maria von Matthiessen with this dulcimer for the pictorial work Song from the Hills (New York: MacMillan, c1993).