In the late 1970’s, Horsebottom Ridge Instruments was developed in the basement studio of our home on – where else? Horsebottom Ridge. Horsebottom Ridge is a ridge that lies just east of the village of Banner Elk in the Appalachian Mountains of northwestern North Carolina.
Making instruments began as a hobby and a diversion from my “primary” profession of teaching history at a local college. As time went on, I became more and more enthralled with the fascinating art/craft of instrument making. In the spring of 1997, after thirty years of teaching, I resigned my position as Associate Professor of History. My wife, Rosie, and I moved back to the farm in piedmont North Carolina where I grew up to pursue instrument making full-time. This provides me with the time to develop new creative ideas and techniques. To reflect the ongoing growth and development of my artistic instrument making, I have renamed Horsebottom Ridge Instruments to Archie Smith Instruments.