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Toledo Mandolin Group

22 March 2018

Photo taken on Vance Street in Toledo, OH, 1907

The mandolin player is Mr. Dobek, the uke player’s identity is unknown (Editor: I believe it’s actually a classical guitar.). Four of the others are my uncles on my mom’s side of the family. The rest are their buddies from the neighborhood. My mom’s older siblings were not born in Toledo but migrated here with my grandparents in 1905. They were born in Manistee, Michigan. It’s quite possible that all the men on this photo were born in Manistee, for many Polish people migrated to Toledo, Chicago, South Bend because these towns were coming into their industrial heyday. The timber industry in Michigan was on the wane due to the lack of reforestation.

That oak spindle-back chair in the photo is still in the family. Our daughter and son-in-law have it who live in Wisconsin.

Daniel F. Drzewiecki
Toledo, OH

(received 7/2007)

Who were they? Known and Unknown Mandolin Ensemble Photos From The Past

This is something Dave Betts has wanted to do for a long time… post pictures of “unknown” mandolin groups (or “known” ones… it’s fun to recapture the local history of our favorite instrument). We’ll try to use the power of the Internet to see if we can’t collectively identify some of them.

If you have run across any similar pictures, send a scanned copy of the photo along with a description to

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