Jump to content

Any Dealings w/Wildwood Music in Ohio?


Recommended Posts

  • Members

There is a little town near Ohio Amish Country by the name of Coshocton, along the old Erie canal. They have a little restored canal village there. In that village is a guitar/folk instrument shop, Wildwood Music. I have been to the village, but Wildwood was closed.


I came across their website by accident and they carry some fine guitar brands, from Martin to Lowden. I am thinking of selling 2 or 3 of my current stable and getting another Larrivee L series (still have seller's remorse from an L-03), this time maybe an 09 or 10.


I called there today and turns out their prices are right in line with Notable and Trinity. I am about 4 1/2 hours from there and am thinking of a road trip. Would be nice to play before I pay. Elderly is much closer, but they don't seem to stock quite as many Larrivees.


I guess this long post is simply to ask if anyone has been there, dealt with Wildwood,etc. Always appreciate the impressions and opinions of those on this board. Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members


Never made a major purchase there. I have been in the shop a few times. Nice people. I've since moved a little further away, so they're no longer the closest shop. But I would have given them business, sure.



Thanks. I talked to a gentleman on the phone there yesterday and he was extremely pleasant and friendly. I was a bit surprised his Larrivee prices were as good as they were.


The shop seems to stock a pretty large number of "top drawer" guitars. He told me he had 8 Lowdens in stock at the time. That really seemed unusual, given they are hard to find and many places I have seen online only have 3-4 in their inventory.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 years later...
  • Members


I see that this question was opened back in 2008, but I thought I’d post anyway, even though it is nine years later! Just in case anyone is searching the web for reviews on Wildwood Music in Coshocton, Ohio, and comes across this Forum. I recently purchased a “Wildwood Custom” Martin Dreadnought from (Ms.) Marty, Don, and Brian, and I can offer several reasons that you should absolutely travel to Coshocton and buy your Martin, Larivee, or other fine guitar from them.


First, there aren’t that many old-fashioned, true “Mom-and-Pop”, family owned music stores left in the United States. The kind of shop that you feel “right at home” in, as soon as you walk through the door. Wildwood is definitely one of the last of a dying breed. (Sadly, places like this are few and far between in any retail business!). Now I’ll admit that in the past, I have purchased guitars and accessories online, and from the “big box” stores; but Wildwood is a throwback to a time when the shop owners were personally involved with you, and really cared that you were a satisfied customer. Buying a guitar, dulcimer, or any other instrument from Marty, Don, and Brian is like buying from your favorite Aunt or Uncle – there’s a bond of trust that you will feel. They are the nicest people to deal with, and, unlike other places, there is NEVER any sales pressure from them. They will graciously just “leave you alone” if you want to try out their wonderful selection undisturbed. But if you do need help, or have questions, you will be delighted and impressed by the depth of their knowledge in finding the guitar that is perfect for you. By the way, if you just want to “talk guitars” for a while, then you’ve come to the right place. They have a seemingly inexhaustible supply of musical experiences and stories that they will cheerfully share with you. Which leads me to my second reason:


Second, their expertise. Wildwood has been a “Marquis” Martin dealer for over thirty-five years. Yeah – over thirty-five years! They know many of the Custom Shop people in Nazareth by first name, and talk to them at least once a week, or more often. Marty and Don personally co-design many of the Martin Wildwood Custom guitars that you’ll see there, and also, with the Custom Shop wood experts, hand select the wood that goes into their amazing instruments. And, while their high-end customs are their calling card, they also have a strong selection of “standard” Martins from which you can pick. They also have a large selection of custom and standard Larivees for sale. As I understand, they know and deal with Jean Larivee and his sons personally. Which segues nicely to my third reason:


Third, their selection. If you’re lucky, most music stores, especially the big box ones, might have one or two high-end Martins in stock for you to try out. Also, you can find Martin and Larivee Customs for sale on the internet, spread across the country. But how do you know what they sound and play like if you can’t easily try them out? If you are really looking for that special Martin or Larivee, visiting Wildwood is like something out of your wildest dreams. They have dozens of fantastic sounding-and-playing acoustics for you to go through, and compare side-by-side. (I personally spent about two hours playing every Martin dreadnought they had, and picked out THE ONE that beautifully spoke to me above all of the others!) A quick word of warning: if you do suffer from G.A.S., (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome), Wildwood can be dangerous, because you will probably want to take several of their Customs home with you! Which brings me to a fourth reason:


Fourth, their prices. Go to their website: www.wildwoodmusic.com and just compare their prices with other Martin and Larivee Customs that you find online. Marty, Don, and Brian are definitely NOT out to make a fast buck off of their customers and friends. They care about offering their guitars at a fair price. If you do a little research, you’ll find that, for a little more than the price you’d pay for a “standard” high end Martin or Larivee at another store, you could have a one-of-a-kind Wildwood Custom Martin or Larivee. Just an FYI – they only take Cash or a Check – so leave the plastic at home. Why? Remember, they are a Mom-and-Pop shop, and they are trying to keep their costs down, so that they can offer you lower prices on their guitars. Visa, MasterCard, etc, charge retailers fees for every transaction, so without those fees, Wildwood can offer better prices. If that’s a little inconvenient for some customers, well, it’s worked for Wildwood for over thirty-five years! (Besides, if you gotta use the plastic, just take out one of those twelve or eighteen month low-or-no interest cash advances against your card, and go get your Wildwood Martin or Larivee!)


As of this post, they are only open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. (See their website or Facebook page.) Monday through Wednesday they are usually busy with handling phone and mail orders, working with ordering new stock, and keeping the store going. Replies to email may take a day or two. If you call during business hours Monday through Saturday, they will usually answer, or get back to you if you leave a message. Is Wildwood a little “old school”? Well, maybe, – but I can’t ever imagine buying another Martin from anyone else.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...
  • Members

Sad to post this, but unfortunately many good things come to an end eventually. Still, all the best and blessings to Marty, Don, and Brian; that they enjoy their “retirement”; and hold on the wonderful memories that they provided, and will hopefully continue to provide, for long years to come. Those of us who visited their magical shop and purchased Martin guitars from them will treasure them forever.


Wildwood Music closing its doors – The Coshocton Beacon – Beth Scott | September 12, 2018

Coshocton, Ohio – Wildwood Music, located in Roscoe Village behind the visitor’s center, will soon be closing its doors with the retirement of co-owners Marty Rodabaugh and Don McKay. The 38-year-old Coshocton business has sold guitars and other wood instruments to both famous country music singers and other musicians and performers from around the world.

“Yes, we’ve had famous people buy their guitars from us, but it’s more about the people who save their money for months and years who are special to us,” said Rodabaugh.

Rodabaugh remembers what it was like to save money to purchase her first guitar. “I remember struggling as a little Kentucky girl to get my first Martin guitar and I said to my mom and daddy, this is what I want,” said Rodabaugh. “They said, oh you’re just a little country girl. You can’t have that. So I started doing odd jobs around the neighborhood and I remember when I had saved half of it, my daddy came to me and said if I gave up my birthday present and Christmas, I could have my guitar. I still remember I put the case by my bed because I would wake up and I thought it was a lovely dream that I had it. And I’d reach down and touch it and, yes, it’s real.”

Rodabaugh bought her first Martin guitar, never imaging how that first meeting with C.F. Martin III would shape her business in the years to come. Rodabaugh was a professor at Ohio State in the late 1970s and was then hired as a teacher in Coshocton. “I just fell in love with Roscoe Village and all the people I met here, all the teachers and students, I just loved everybody,” said Rodabaugh. “I was very impressed with this town.” Rodabaugh started performing on the mountain dulcimer at different locations during the summer months. People would ask if they could purchase a dulcimer from her and that led Rodabaugh to her first business, selling dulcimers out of her basement. People then started asking if she had guitars for sale, which in turn led her to sell guitars, but starting a Martin dealership wasn’t easy for Rodabaugh.

“They wouldn’t give me a dealership because I was a woman,” said Rodabaugh. “I remember I kept asking to speak with Martin to see if he would remember me from long ago. Finally, they got tired of me calling and let me speak to Martin. I asked him if he remembered the little girl from Kentucky who had bought her first guitar from him and he did. He gave me the dealership and insisted on helping me become the first woman-owned store of Martin guitars.”

Rodabaugh’s store of selling custom-made Martin guitars grew to selling other types of guitars as well as violins, fiddles, mandolins, dulcimers, and harps. She quickly became known for selling more custom-made Martin guitars than anywhere else in the world at the lowest prices. Rodabaugh purchased the old locke keepers house which was built around 1840 to house her new business. McKay joined her as co-owner in 1988. “We really started the business to get acoustic guitars into the hands of players at the lowest price,” said McKay. “Martin is so supportive of our efforts here and our hearts are with Martin. I think it’s very important to have that relationship, not only with Martin, but with our customers. That’s what we cherish the most. We’re going to miss the relationships we’ve made with different people.”

The two have made lasting memories from their time as co-owners of Wildwood Music, mostly involving their loyal and friendly customers. “One of the sweetest memories is from a couple in Pennsylvania who both performed,” said Rodabaugh. “They really liked coming over here to Wildwood and Leanne wanted a new guitar. She was really thinking about it. Greg called us and said he wanted to make a custom guitar and present it to her as a gift and ask her to be his wife. She said yes.”

Another memory Rodabaugh shared was a wife who gifted her husband a new guitar for Christmas. “One lady wanted to buy her husband a Christmas present and she called and asked what it would cost to buy a D41, which is a very ornate guitar,” said Rodabaugh. “We gave her the price and she came over with him and gave him a Christmas card saying that he could choose any guitar he wanted.”

In their retirement, the two hope to spend more time playing in their group, Wildwood and Friends. McKay is also working on a genealogy book that he plans to spend more time researching in his retirement. “She [Rodabaugh] and I want to do some more performing,” said McKay. “The Ohio Arts Council has asked us to play for Chautauqua here in the past and we go to other festivals around the country to play for their festivals. It’s fun to share our music with friends.”

No matter where retirement takes Rodabaugh and McKay, they plan to stay in Coshocton and enjoy not having the stress of running a business. “We love Coshocton,” said Rodabaugh. “We both came here from outside Coshocton. We enjoy being here and the people have been wonderful. We’ve made lasting friendships here.” Even though the two are retiring, music will always be a part of their lives. “It’s a spiritual thing and we hear that from our customers,” said Rodabaugh. “One of our customers said that other than worshipping, it’s the closest he’s come to touching the face of God.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
  • Members

An update about Wildwood Music in Coshocton, Ohio

Apparently, Marty and Don are retiring – but not completely!


Wildwood Music closing to public, but not out of business

The Coshocton Tribune – Drew Bracken, Correspondent – Published 7:32 p.m. ET March 17, 2019


Couple looking toward retirement will continue to sell guitars by appointment

After nearly 40 years selling high-end guitars at their store Wildwood Music in Coshocton, Marty Rodabaugh and Don McKay are closing the shop, although they will still be selling guitars by appointment.


COSHOCTON – After 38 years the store may no longer be chock-full of instruments in the historic Lockeeper’s House in Roscoe Village, but that doesn’t mean Wildwood Music is out of business. They’re still selling guitars by appointment.

That’s because Marty Rodabaugh and Don McKay are in the process of retiring, but only mostly. Or make that partially. In any case, a new page has turned.

“When you’re buying a high-end guitar, you probably don’t want to buy it on line,” Marty explained. “There’s nothing nicer than to get someone you can talk to, who’s there for you to help you with the purchase.”

Marty Rodabaugh was a doctoral candidate in education at Ohio State when she came to Coshocton in the 1970s to teach at Coshocton Junior High School. More to the point, she was already a performing musician with her mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer and her cherished Martin guitar, as well as her vocals.

While still in college, during tours with her band in the U.S. and Europe, she was often asked about her instruments and where she found them.

“Folks would ask if she wanted to sell her Martin, which she never did,” Don said. “She still owns that precious instrument.”

Instead of selling her guitar, she came to Coshocton to become a Martin guitar dealer. First, in her home on Cambridge Road. Then when business prospered, she moved Wildwood Music to Historic Roscoe Village in 1983.

The store was the largest Martin dealer in 40 states. And in the early 1980s, Wildwood Music soon became one of the largest dulcimer dealers in the world as well.

“People would ask,” Marty recalled, “‘How in the world can you do this in little Coshocton, Ohio?’ We had a customer not too long ago, a business teacher in Akron, and he said, ‘You didn’t follow any of the standard practices of a successful business.’”

“In our case,” she reasoned, “because high-end guitar buyers are few and far between, our advertising immediately became known nationally and internationally to draw people – and we did it with passion.”

Don McKay grew up in Dayton. His parents had once lived in Newcomerstown so in 1988 he came back for a visit. He had already graduated from Wright State University as a teacher and at the time was majoring in vocal music at Dayton’s Sinclair College – and privately taking classical guitar lessons.

He stopped at the Wildwood Music store in Roscoe Village, which he had seen during a village tour, curious about what guitars might be lurking there. It was on that trip he met Marty.

“This turned out to be a ‘meant-to-be’ encounter of two souls,” Don said. So he moved to Coshocton “becoming,” he said, “involved with Marty and Wildwood.”

Now, the two intend to become more involved in community activities and perform more widely as a vocal duo.

“It’s been a blessing to have done what we did without the big city hustle and bustle,” Marty concluded. “It’s been an absolute blessing, and we use that word pretty much every day.”


For more information about Wildwood Music, call 740-622-4224 or log on http://www.wildwoodmusic.com.


About the series

Aces of Trades is a weekly series focusing on people and their jobs – whether they’re unusual jobs, fun jobs or people who take ordinary jobs and make them extraordinary. If you have a suggestion for a future profile, let us know at ctnews@coshoctontribune.com.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...