Sunday, May 9, 2010

Grandpa's Shotgun

I obtained my Grandpa Green's shotgun recently. He died in 1973 and my father took the gun and kept it until he died in 2001. I am pretty sure my Dad never fired it. He kept it in his closet.

The gun ended up with another relative when my Dad died and he left it out in a leaky garage. When I received it, it was rusted up and pretty much ruined. It was really a shame to see it in such bad condition. I am not a gun person and have never been interested in guns or hunting. Mary definitely feels the same and is not happy at having a gun in the house.

I had it in the closet, with a gun lock attached, until a recent vacation when I decided to see about getting it repaired. I talked to Steve Lawrence, Mary's cousin and gun collector who gave some good advise about how to clean and repair the damage.

After getting the gun so that it looked respectable I decided to see what it was. The markings on the gun said it was made by Harrington and Richardson. It was a 12 gauge, break open shotgun. I wasn't sure how old the gun was. The patent on the manufacturer's imprint was dated February 27, 1900.

I contacted a gun parts dealer and they told me it was made between 1900 and 1916. With those dates I wondered where my Grandpa would have gotten it. He was only 20 years old in 1900. It is possible he bought it then but as I looked at the gun I noticed someone had carved an "H" on the underside of the stock.

So now there was a mystery. There wasn't anyone in the immediate family with the initial H. My Grandpa had a brother named John Henderson Green who died in 1918. I don't know if he went by the name Henderson. Of course my Grandpa Green's grandfather was James Henderson Hogan. So maybe the gun belonged to his grandfather. James Henderson Hogan was a civil war veteran, Sergeant in the famed Florida 2nd Battalion and he died in 1918. I have no way to prove it one way or the other but maybe this shotgun belonged to him. So instead of being my Grandpa's gun it could have belonged to my Great Great Grandfather!

No comments: