Hammered Dulcimer, popular instrument of the 18th century

IMG_6664.jpgBalladeer Linda Russell will perform at the Old Dutch Parsonage this Saturday, January 20th at 7:30 pm.  One of the 18th century period instruments that she will perform with is the hammered dulcimer.

So what is a hammered dulcimer? It’s an instrument with strings stretched over a resonant sound board, often trapezoidal in shape.  The musician will often stand before the instrument with a small mallet hammer in each hand, striking the strings to produce sound.

The hammered dulcimer was brought into Europe by the Spanish Moors during the 12th century A.D. from its believed origins in the Middle East and North Africa. Its popularity continued throughout Europe during the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance.  The first known written reference to the instrument in America dates to the early 1700’s.

Hammered dulcimers were often built at home or in small shops, not in factories like pianos.  This resulted in more regional variances in the instruments.  The popularity of the instrument continued into the first half of 20th century when it virtually disappeared.

To register for Saturday’s concert, call 908-725-1015 or email whouse3@verizon.net.


For more information on Linda Russell: Linda Russell

Source: Smithsonian article on hammered dulcimers

Balladeer to Perform Songs of the Harvest at Old Dutch Parsonage

Fall Concert at the Old Dutch Parsonage: Celebrating the Harvest

Join balladeer Linda Russell as she sings songs of harvest-time. Playing the hammered and mountain dulcimers, penny whistle and guitar, Linda sings and plays ballads, love songs, dance tunes, and working songs written in early America and brought over from the Old World

 Click to hear excerpt of Linda Russell playing “Meeting of the Waters” on hammered dulcimer.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

1:30 pm

Old Dutch Parsonage

71 Somerset Street

Somerville, NJ 08876

$10 per-person suggested donation to attend this program.

Advance registration recommended. Call 908-725-1015 or email whouse3@verizon.net to register. Please register early, as seating is limited. 

While performing on guitar, mountain and hammered dulcimers, penny whistle and limberjack, Linda’s rich singing voice illuminates our American heritage through patriotic anthems, broadsides, hymns and dance tunes.

Linda Russell is a balladeer who brings America’s past to life through song. She has served for many years as musical historian for the National Park Service at Federal Hall National Memorial and has performed at historic sites throughout New York and New Jersey.


Candle Light Tours

Enjoy Candle Light Tours and Music at the
Wallace House & 
Old Dutch Parsonage
Friday, December 9, 2016
6 pm – 9 pm
Hourly group tours by candle light,
featuring costumed interpreters,
cooking demonstrations & period music.
Join Mrs. Mary Wallace when she steps out of her portrait frame to guide visitors around her home and share personalized insights on the memorable winter of 1778, when she and her husband John Wallace shared their home with General George Washington and his entourage.    
In the Wallace House kitchen wing, re-enactor Kathy Ormosi will be presenting hearthside cooking, and discussing the foods of the season.
The tour will adjourn to the nearby Old Dutch Parsonage, to listen to Robert Mouland   perform period music on antique instruments and to enjoy light refreshments.
Fee: $10 per-person. 
All visitors must register for this program in advance. Visitors may register for the 6pm, 7pm or 8pm tour. Each hourly tour will be limited to ten visitors per group. Call 908-725-1015 to register. Please register early.
71 Somerset Street, Somerville, NJ 08876
908-725-1015        ab whouse3@verizon.net




December Events

Calendar of Events for December were announced at yesterday’s annual meeting of WHODP Association by Mr. Kurzenberger:

Sunday, December 14th, 7:30 pm.
A Concert at the Wallace House featuring Mr. Bob Mouland

Enjoy the sound of music on  period instruments in an historic setting.  Seating in the Wallace House is limited, so reservations are a MUST. Same night arrivals, $20 only if space permits. Reserve early.

Sunday December 21st, Groups at 6, 7, and 8 pm
Four Days Before Christmas…

What was likely to be going on just before Christmas at the Wallace House and the Old Dutch Parsonage in the 18th century? Here’s your chance to find out.  Please register for your time. $10 for advance registration/$15 for same day.

Contact the sites directly at 908-725-1015 or email whouse3@verizon.net for reservations.

Upcoming Holiday Events 2011

A Weekend of Special Evening Events:
Fri., Sat.,and Sun. ~ Dec. 16 -18
Music for the Holidays:
Two 18th Century Candlelight Concerts at The Old Dutch Parsonage ~ Dec. 16 & 18.


Linda Russell ~ Friday, Dec. 16 ~ 7:30 p.m. ~


Ms. Russell, well-known for her historic musical interpretation, sings seasonal Songs and Ballads of the Colonial era
and plays period instruments including Hammered Dulcimer, Guitar and Tin whistle.
Seating begins at 7 pm.


Robert Mouland ~ Sunday, Dec. 18 ~ 7:30 p.m. ~


Mr. Mouland plays more than six instruments of the period including English Guitar, Violin, Wire Harp,
Shuttle Pipes, Flageolet and Flute. The Concert includes Popular and Celtic Tunes of the 18th century in the Spirit of Christmas.
Seating begins at 7 pm.
Eight Nights Before Christmas” ~ Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011
Colonial Christmas Tours at The Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage Historic Sites ~ Tours on the Hour from 5 – 8 pm During candlelight tours of The Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage. guides in period clothing explain how Christmas was celebrated in the American colonies. Enjoy the holiday atmosphere of these Colonial-era homes, decorated authentically in the 18th century manner to celebrate the season. Invite friends, family and others to enjoy this unique holiday event! Tours available at 5 pm, 6 pm, 7 pm and 8 pm. Refreshments will be served.


All Events: $10 per person. Advance Reservations Required.
Contact Jim Kurzenberger:
Phone: 908-725-1015 Email: whouse3@verizon.net
Site Address &Parking: 71 Somerset Street, Somerville, NJ 08876
(Lot across from Circle Floors. There is a short walk to the houses.)

Trio of Holiday Diversions

The public is invited to visit the Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage New Jersey State Historic Sites to celebrate on one of the following occasions:

A Holiday Diversion. Saturday, December 5th Noon – 5 pm. The sites will be open for their annual colonial style Christmas event. $7 for adults, $5 for children.

A Holiday Concert with Linda Russell. Friday December 11th 7:30 pm at the Old Dutch Parsonage. $10. As seating is limited, reservations are required. 908-725-1015.

Five Days before Christmas. 5-8 pm. $10. Reservations are required. 908-725-1015.