NEW LONDON, N.H. (AP) – The New London Historical Society is rescuing violins made more than 100 years ago by a local violin maker.

The society has owned a single, complete violin made by Claude Goings for several years, but acquired the second one just a few months ago.

A Texas man purchased it at auction for $300 and contacted the society after he found a note inside reading, “Claude Goings, Maker, New London, N.H., 1888.” The fiddle found its home 115 years later.

There’s a third known violin, in a battered case, stringless and warped.

Violins were apparently a sideline for Goings, who worked as a carriage painter in New London.

“We have no idea how many more of them are out there,” former historical society president Dick Little said.

Goings’ workshop is tucked among the complex of buildings at the town historical society. The walls are covered by pliers, mallets, saws and vices, with dozens of violins hanging from the beams.

Goings was born in Maine in 1836 and moved to New London as a boy. He fought in the Civil War with the Eighth New Hampshire volunteers, then returned to New London, where he worked as a carriage painter.

He died in 1913, leaving behind five daughters, two sons and an unknown number of violins.

AP-ES-05-26-03 1259EDT

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