The Polk County Museum’s galleries include a special violin made of spruce from the ancient castle of King Carol the Twelve of Sweden. During Johnson’s extended tour visiting relatives in Norway and Sweden, he visited the castle as it was undergoing renovation. He noticed that they were removing a wooden partition and this gave him the idea of using the wood as a top on his violin. He had just come from a Swedish country fair where he tied with an accordion player for first place playing his violin in a amateur music contest.


Carl was a versatile Amery area resident who not only built his own violin but also invented a multiple-firing gun, played in Paul Whiteman’s orchestra, was a gunsmith, carpenter, and repairman.


Ing Berthelson learned that this talented man was living in Little Falls and after visiting him invited him to move in with him north of Amery where Carl lived until his move to Golden Age Manor.