American Chestnut Electric Guitar by Doug Brownell

Video: Richard Wylie playing Yesterday by the Beatles to showcase the sound of this Brownell Electric Guitar. To connect with Richard visit his website at

Road Runner case included.

The Story of this Guitar:

Vicki Brownell has been a member of the PA Chapter since 2006.  As she recalls she had set out to find the PA Nut Growers booth at the Farm Show so she could buy walnuts for some cookies she was planning to bake. Fate stepped in as she passed by our display on her way. As luck would have it, Bob Summersgill was on duty. She didn’t stand a chance. For those of you who don’t know Bob, he had a way of inspiring new members and volunteers.

Vicki took a brochure home and her membership started that January. Wanting to learn more she came out to Ag Progress Days that same year where she met Sara Fitzsimmons for the first time. Sara took her on a tour of our first orchard and Vicki was hooked.

She has been a loyal member ever since, volunteering when she can and keeping her eyes peeled for native chestnuts in the wild.

Here is the story of her guitar hero. When PA-TACF announced a chestnut craft show for members Vicki had a good lead with her son Doug. He had realized, while still in high school, that his dream guitar was unaffordable, and decided to make it himself. Because he worked summers for a few local builders, he had access to an extensive selection of scrap wood. Once completing his cherry “Les Paul,” his curiosity about the tone differences of woods led him to build guitars in mahogany, black walnut, alder, maple, white oak, Brazilian cherry (never again), and even a recycled glue-laminated beam.

Vicki set about recruiting Doug to put his talents to work for PA-TACF. She bought a reclaimed barn chestnut from a gentleman in the New Milford area. But surprisingly, by that time Doug had found many more interesting things to do at Penn State and the chestnut wood went into storage. So, it was a huge surprise when the completed chestnut guitar arrived at the door Christmas 2014, all the way from Tulsa, Oklahoma. As our children will do, Douglas had moved to the mid-west to work for John Deere and had taken the wood with him. And with a little “coaxing” from his grandmother, had made it, and shipped it east.

With one thing and another, the guitar has sat quietly in a closet since then and has never been played.

Until now! We are proud to include this one of a kind electric guitar in our 2020 Chestnut Restoration Raffle.