Highlight of my year!
The M-J issue of ML had a book review by old tacky about the book by James Gordon and James Parker in Glorieta, NM. Note: the largest battle of the civil war fought west of the Mississippi River was in Glorieta. Newspapers of the time called it "The Gettysburg of the West..."
Anyway, James Gordon has a very fine museum. In it, he has 43 original Hawken rifles, including one owned by Mariano Modena, complete with pouch and horn and stuff, and one by Tom Tobin.
Jeff Hengesbaugh lives up the street about half a mile. He owns the James P. Beckwourth pre-Hawken, Hawken rifle featured in ML. It has enough tacks to make mr Nesbitt green with envy...
Everything is laying on tables, or on racks, and you can actually handle the rifles!
The book the two James wrote is amazing, and to me well worth the asking price of $135 plus shipping. Even better, it made me jump in my old Jag convertible and drive a thousand miles, just to see the place.
You cannot imagine all the neat rifles in the building, and all of them can be handled.
I am still zooming around, just thinking about the place.
wow, just wow...!
I can understand your excitement and enthusiasm Idaho! There is just nothing quite like getting the opportunity to examine, handle, and shoulder an original rifle! I have had the pleasure and the privilege on a few occasions to do just that with several Hawken rifles, as well as an uncountable number of early Pennsylvania made longrifles. There is a gunshow put on twice a year by my friend Curt Johnson in Princeton Illinois. It is a trip of several hundred miles for me, but ooooh so worth the drive!
I sure understand the feel and the excitement of handling history. I grew up just outside the main battle field of Brandy Station, VA (the largest cavalry battle of the western hemisphere) and spent countless days, not hours, walking the battlefields of Chanceslorsville, The Wilderness, plus area of the French and Indian War and The Little Bighorn battlefield (probably the saddest place I've ever been to... you can feel it). Holding history in your hands is like standing on it. You feel, taste, and almost re-live it.
... At least, that's the way it is for me.
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