Board Member Emeritus Ellsworth Gregory Tunes Center’s 150-Year-Old Piano

Mar 26, 2017

Ellsworth “Greg” Gregory

Ellsworth “Greg” Gregory, Historical Society President from 1992 to 2008, is shown tuning the Center’s antique piano prior to the playing of Christmas music for the Society’s annual 2016 Christmas Party.

According to Ellsworth, who has tuned this 150-year-old piano twice before, all seven of its octaves are still in reasonable tune. It was made by then renowned Decker Brothers of New York and sold for $625 in the 1860s ($10,500 today).  It was shipped by a “Clipper” sailing ship around South America’s Cape Horn to San Francisco and stood in the Hatton family’s parlor in Carmel Valley for many decades before coming to the History Center.

The piano was made with 52 ivory and 36 ebony hardwood keys, 88 in all. Use of ivory keys was banned in the 1950s due to the illegal poaching of animals and today’s keys are made entirely from modern plastics. Interestingly, some pianists maintain that they can sense a difference in touch and responsiveness between plastic and ivory keys.

Ellsworth, 89, has tuned pianos for symphonies and concerts, for the rich and famous, and for countless residents of Monterey County for over 60 years. Remarkably, he has tuned the piano in the bar of the Mission Ranch Restaurant in Carmel for over half a Century!

The 1989 Carmel Valley Centennial, But Was It?

The 1989 Carmel Valley Centennial, But Was It?

A new Carmel Valley History Center exhibit showcases the huge community celebration 30 years ago that actually was held in the wrong year – a recently discovered historical surprise! It was a gala affair by every account and evolved into today’s annual Fiesta, held this year August 3-4.

50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon Landing

50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon Landing

Carmel Valley Historical Society volunteers Jeff Ohlson and Reggie Jones give an overview of the Apollo moon missions and explain in detail how Carmel Valley’s Jamesburg Earth Station was a key link in bringing the Apollo 11 Moonwalk to TV viewers on earth.

New on the Board

New on the Board

L-R: Gary Tate, Kim Williams, Dave Terdy, Cherie Ohlson, Richard Barratt, Elizabeth Barratt, Maxine Callihan, Jeff Ohlson At their May 8, 2019 Board of Directors meeting, the Historical Society welcomed new Board members Richard and Elizabeth Barratt. Both Richard and...

Historical Society Annual Meeting

Historical Society Annual Meeting

The Society’s yearly All-Member meeting held on Saturday, April 13, 2019. All were presented with a “State of the Society” overview by President Kim Williams followed by a great lineup of beverages, fruits, and cookies while catching up with old friends as well as meeting new ones.

Marilyn Sanders’ “Rosie and His Cracker Barrel” now available

Marilyn Sanders’ “Rosie and His Cracker Barrel” now available

In 1962 Marilyn Sanders (1932-2108) and her husband Jim settled in Carmel Valley where they raised their family and were both very active in community affairs. Having had a long penchant for history, she wrote her history of Rosie’s Cracker Barrel in the 1990s and it became a best seller on the Peninsula.

Carmel Valley Historical Society
P.O. Box 1612
Carmel Valley, CA 93924
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