The label is undated and says
W Griffith Wakefield
[illegible to me]
I assume the Wakefield and illegible is the location - the undecipherable part looks sort of like
That's a long s - Maybe it's Wakefield Massachusetts?
Oops - I meant to say, is violinists.com a good place to look? Or do I need to just take it to a luthier who has a book of makers?
A good luthier will be able to provide the most accurate information. Otherwise, posting on the violin and fiddle sites may produce some results.
There seem to be thousands of undocumented makers. Many were amateurs and made one or two instruments. Thomas Wenberg went across the country documenting and published a large book with photos and info. No one like yours is listed there. Best advice is to take it to a good luthier who can at least give you an educated guess. Don't expect too much, like a seriously valuable instrument or even much info. Enjoy what you have.
Thanks for the replies, I know I'm not sitting on a treasure, but I've had it for ~25 years now and I am mostly just curious how old it is! Might be an unsolvable riddle though...
Maybe check out a city directories for Wakefield, MA. Contact the chamber of commerce there or county clerk and see if there are any documents of businesses of the past.
Finally got to a luthier here in LA to give it a once over... In the guys's giant blue book of makers there's a New York guy named William Reid Griffith born in the 1920's who made a couple hundred instruments this century that were copies of a Guarneri violin he owned. Mine (apparently) has squarish cutouts typical of that instrument maker. As it turns out small shop single maker american instruments like mine are going in the mid four figures these days! Too bad I sat on the violin when I was a kid and split the back from shoulder to end pin. Even with a fairly good repair, the value is down in the hundreds of dollars it was bought for in the 1980's. I wasn't planning on selling it either way, and the opinion at the time was that the repair had improved the tone somewhat, so there you go...