Cecil Butler was born in the parlor of his familyís homestead in Loch Muller(between Schroon and Minerva) in 1886, and was still living there 89 years later when young folksinger Dan Berggren came through the area collecting stories of an ancestor. It is largely through Berggren that we know of Butler and his fiddling, which was featured on Berggrenís 1985 album, Adirondack Green.
With a mother who played fiddle and organ and sang, and a father who was a schooled bass singer, it didnít take long for Cecil Butler to become actively involved in music. He and his sister Mayme were taught to sing their scales at home, and Cecil made his first violin himself, learning to play it by ear.
Butler supported himself and his own family working in lumbercamps, doing carpentry, making pack baskets and fishing creels, producing maple syrup, trapping, guiding hunting and fishing trips, calling dances and fiddling. His second wife, Ruth Butler, played piano with him at many of the dances, and also lived in the Schroon Lake area her whole life.
(We thank Dan Berggren for graciously giving us access to his recordings of Cecil Butler, made on a mono cassette recorder in Cecilís kitchen in November, 1975.)