For two years in the late 1920s, Monroe lived at Vandiver's small cabin in Rosine, Kentucky. That’s where he learned fiddle tunes from his “Uncle Pen" and perfected his timing while backing him on mandolin. That cabin went to the bank when Vandiver died. Bill Monroe's son, James, bought the property in 1973 as a gift for his father. James also built another cabin using some of the salvaged logs from the original home. But James says that it's now time to pass it along to a new owner.
"We've got so much stuff that he left. We can't take care of it all."
This is the second sale of pieces from the Bill Monroe estate in less than a year. Last summer, Monroe’s fans and collectors purchased more than 1,000 items at an estate sale in Gallatin.
The property's eBay page currently lists an asking price of $550,000. Monroe’s cabin is on 2½ acres of land overlooking Rosine, Kentucky. It is about 110 miles north of Nashville but within walking distance from the cemetery where Monroe, who died in 1996, and Vandiver are buried.
Monroe’s cabin currently welcomes tourists from May to October, but there’s no indication what might happen with new owners regarding whether they might want to keep the cabin as a tourist attraction.
The purchase of the property also comes with the name, merchandising and image rights to Pendleton Vandiver as well as several items in the home. That includes one of Monroe's Stetson hats and a BMI award for his classic song "Uncle Pen"—a song that’s been covered countless times by artists ranging from Ricky Skaggs to Phish.
James Monroe also said that the estate is selling a fiddle that was purchased by Monroe and used as a backup instrument by members of his Blue Grass Boys band, which included Bluegrass Hall of Famer Kenny Baker. The tuning keys from his prized Gibson F-5 mandolin will also be placed up for sale.
Reference: USA Today (April 25, 2017) “Bill Monroe estate to sell historic property”
Suggested Key Terms: Estate Planning, Inheritance, Estate Sale, Virginia