2011-10-13 / Local & State

Long-Rifle Program Thurs. At Courthouse


Double-barrel Stunkard Double-barrel Stunkard The Fulton County Historical Society will hold a “show-andtell” program on local Pennsylvania long rifles made in Fulton County and surrounding areas on Thursday, October 13, 2011, at 7 p.m. in the courtroom of the Fulton County Courthouse.

Collectors will display a number of rare rifles. J. Cook worked in Ayr Township in the 1820s and 1830s both as a blacksmith and gunsmith. Tax lists show a Jacob Cook and a John Cook making rifles during this early period. James Clark was a gunsmith in Fulton County from 1798-1813, John and David Whetstone were taxed as gunsmiths in Ayr Township from 1804-1826, and Alexander Taylor was listed as a gunsmith in 1826. W. S. Chilcote of Hustontown had an inventory of 13 gun stocks upon his death in 1887, many of which were purchased by A.D. Keath of New Grenada.

The Historical Society museum owns a fine handmade rifle signed by S. Shillito and Son. Samuel Shillito’s gunshop is believed to have been along the town stream behind Lincoln Way West in McConnellsburg where he appears on local tax lists from 1825-1835.

All evidence of local gun shops have disappeared over the years.

Perhaps the most famous Fulton County rifles were those made by Robert F. Stunkard of New Grenada.

“Furg’s” rifles were known for their accuracy and many had inlays of silver. A fine example with curly maple stock was donated to the Historical Society museum by William Reisner in memory of Clarence Bender. An unusual double- barrel Stunkard will be loaned for display at the meeting.

Perhaps the most unique Stunkard rifle was one purchased by John Gracey in 2010 and returned to Fulton County from an auction in Illinois. The gun was made within 150 yards of Gracey’s home, and John is related to the Stunkards. Experts who examined the gun believe it was made for a special family member because it was seldom fired and shows a signed heart design on the patch box. Stunkard was born in Wells Valley in 1827.

Old Lucifer, a target rifle weighing 38 pounds made by Clarence Bender about 1940, will be on display at the meeting. Others who would like to display a rifle should contact Historical Society President Dick Miller at 717-485-3412. The meeting is free and open to the public.

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