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Violin maker prefers the small-town lifestyle in Mt. Pleasant

Paul Hart could pretty much work anywhere, as far as business is concerned. Hart makes violins, and he doesn't rely on a lot of walk-in traffic. But as far as lifestyle is concerned, he much prefers the small town.

Earlier this year, Hart moved his violin-making business into a historic Mt. Pleasant building that once housed the Palace Pharmacy. A plaque on the building notes that right here in the middle of this street is where a man named Hyrum Bebee shot the town sheriff in1945. (And many are the folks who think the Sundance Kid is another name for Hyrum Bebee, but that's another story.)It was purely a selfish motivation that drew him to Mt. Pleasant, Hart says. "I grew up in Provo, and you can get to there from here the same as you can from Salt Lake. And this is a prettier area. It has a lot more character."

Not to mention that Hart likes to hike.

"We're not handicapped by being in a small town."

Hart finds truth in the notion that, if you make something well enough, customers will find you. His instruments end up in orchestras all over the world.

There's a technique to building violins: choosing the wood, using the tools. But there's also an art: capturing the perfect sound. And that's something that comes only with practice and experience.

Hart offers a four-year teaching/apprenticeship program that allows six students at a time to come and learn those principles.

Visitors are welcome to stop by anytime to see what's going on: students making bridges, cutting the outline of a cello, sanding and smoothing the texture. "It's not something you'll see in every little small town," says Hart.