Author Topic: John Parks ( Initialed) - Upper Susquehanna (Ref. 090105-1)  (Read 6705 times)

Offline nord

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John Parks ( Initialed) - Upper Susquehanna (Ref. 090105-1)
« on: January 06, 2009, 03:59:27 AM »
Attached are photo's of the rifle I just inherited.  I know it was made in the Lehigh Valley style.  It was converted to percussion at some point from flintlock.  The lock is made by Jame Golcher.  The top of the barrel shows the initials J P Jr.  This rifle was purchased by my great, great, great, great, grandfather to protect his family if the Civil War made it as far north as his home.  He lived northeast of Harrisburg, PA.  That is all I know. 

Addendum 01/16/09

I am the owner of the Parks Jr./Sr. rifle.  I am sending you a picture of my GGG grandfather who owned that rifle.  I know the owner of the rifle doesn't have anything to do with who made it, but at the same time, I figured how often do we know one of the original owners of one of these guns.

Samual Snyder, Berrysburg, PA.











Committee Comments:

1.  I interpreted the letters to Be "T.P.T" and was unable to find a reference that fit in Chandler 1 or  patchbox books.

Wonder if someone with more knowledge would describe this gun in technical terms, if Upper Susquehanna as suggested, i.e, the stock features as that are revealed in this gun that characterize this "school"

2.  or "J. P. J"

3.  It appears to be J P J, but without holding it and looking at it, I don't have an answer. The patchbox is very unusual and pretty much unlike anything else, one sees. It is almost a
certainty that it is an Upper Susq piece having many traits of that school.
Nice rifle, great patina, converted to perc. and a generally untouched gun with an interesting family history. They took great care of the little gun over the decades since the Civil War.
Is there any question as to whether it should be displayed, or not?


4.  Shades of Upper Susquehanna mostly. Maybe Hazleton, but that's just a guess. Patchbox is different, but that means little.

Initials? I'm beginning to think I couldn't decipher my own. I'm sure we'll continue to look for similar and hope for a readily identifiable gun to assist with this one.

Particulars? Just a guess, but the photos lead me to believe the barrel has been slightly shortened. Probably during conversion. I'd also guess that GGGGG Grandpa bought the gun as is. In other words, the gun was already several decades old when he bought it.

Provenance is wonderful. This rifle is a family treasure! Beautifully kept and cared for.

Excerpts from Antique Board Comments:

With 99% certainty, I know who made this rifle.  This is a John Parks, Jr.  rifle made in Snyder County.  I have to admit that the stock profile is pretty pronounced for the Upper Susquehanna school, but note the football sideplate, which is consistent with other products of the region, including those rifles built by Joe Long, the Spechts, Baum, Laudenslager, St. Clair and others.  Of course, these makers do not always use the football side plate, but they built rifles with this feature frequently enough to almost elevate the football sideplate to a signature for this region.

Both John Parks, Sr. and Jr. worked near present day Selinsgrove, Snyder County, Pennsylvania.  I do not know the exact location of their shop, but I have been told that they lived south of Selinsgrove.  This is mere speculation as to their exact location, but most books, including Sellers (relying on earlier work completed by Ewing and Gabel), place the Parks family in the Selinsgrove area.  Other sources (and I don't have the exact cite in front of me) indicate that Parks, Jr. moved west to Huntingdon and possibly to Ohio (and further west) later in his career, but you definitely have an Upper Susquehanna rifle, here, not a product of the Lehigh Valley.

Please contribute to my educated guess.  I suspect that Mr. Getz will confirm my post.  Thank you for sharing your family "mystery," which is now solved (at least for me).

Jeff Spotts
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Spotz
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Re: Help with an Antique Lehigh Valley Rifle
Reply #7 on: Today at 07:25:25 PM    Reply with quote
The more I look at this rifle and the signature, I am not sure that I can definitely say this is a John Parks, Jr.  It is quite possible that this is a Sr.  I cannot tell from the pictures, but the angle on the second "J" looks a lot like a "S."  Thus this could just as easily be a John Parks, Sr.  I would be curious to hear others' opinions.  I would need to see this in person to make a final determination.

Another point of interest is the engraving on the hammer, which is identical to engraving used by other makers in the region, including Joe Long.  The engraving often appears on sideplates and the classic moon cheek inlay, which is not present on this rifle.  This engraving is obvisouly from the percussion period and may lend support to this being a John Parks, Jr. rifle.  The rifle was originally a flintlock and this would lend support to the rifle being a product of "Sr."  The early look to this rifle may add support to this rifle being a product of Sr.  I suspect that the rifle barrel was shorted and traditional barrel pins were replaced with hooked lugs.  This is a frequent feature of regional conversions that is observed elsewhere, but was frequently completed in this region to recycle the present pin holes (which were usually in the middle of inlays
). With that said, I would like to qualify my previous post--you have a John Parks rifle, which is probably a product of Jr., but could as easily be a Sr.
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Re: Help with an Antique Lehigh Valley Rifle
Reply #8 on: Today at 08:27:40 PM    Reply with quote
That is awesome.  Thank you so much.  I think I mentioned it somewhere, that my relative lived in Berrysburg, PA.  This is just 26 miles from Selinsgrove, PA.  I know 26 miles back then is a little further then it is now, but still not bad.  Once again thank you.  We have had this gun to several museums and I don't know how much time I have spent searching the net for PA gunmakers with those initials.

With 99% certainty, I know who made this rifle.  This is a John Parks, Jr.  rifle made in Snyder County.  I have to admit that the stock profile is pretty pronounced for the Upper Susquehanna school, but note the football sideplate, which is consistent with other products of the region, including those rifles built by Joe Long, the Spechts, Baum, Laudenslager, St. Clair and others.  Of course, these makers do not always use the football side plate, but they built rifles with this feature frequently enough to almost elevate the football sideplate to a signature for this region.

Both John Parks, Sr. and Jr. worked near present day Selinsgrove, Snyder County, Pennsylvania.  I do not know the exact location of their shop, but I have been told that they lived south of Selinsgrove.  This is mere speculation as to their exact location, but most books, including Sellers (relying on earlier work completed by Ewing and Gabel), place the Parks family in the Selinsgrove area.  Other sources (and I don't have the exact cite in front of me) indicate that Parks, Jr. moved west to Huntingdon and possibly to Ohio (and further west) later in his career, but you definitely have an Upper Susquehanna rifle, here, not a product of the Lehigh Valley.

Please contribute to my educated guess.  I suspect that Mr. Getz will confirm my post.  Thank you for sharing your family "mystery," which is now solved (at least for me).

Jeff Spotts

The more I look at this rifle and the signature, I am not sure that I can definitely say this is a John Parks, Jr.  It is quite possible that this is a Sr.  I cannot tell from the pictures, but the angle on the second "J" looks a lot like a "S."  Thus this could just as easily be a John Parks, Sr.  I would be curious to hear others' opinions.  I would need to see this in person to make a final determination.

Another point of interest is the engraving on the hammer, which is identical to engraving used by other makers in the region, including Joe Long.  The engraving often appears on sideplates and the classic moon cheek inlay, which is not present on this rifle.  This engraving is obvisouly from the percussion period and may lend support to this being a John Parks, Jr. rifle.  The rifle was originally a flintlock and this would lend support to the rifle being a product of "Sr."  The early look to this rifle may add support to this rifle being a product of Sr.  I suspect that the rifle barrel was shorted and traditional barrel pins were replaced with hooked lugs.  This is a frequent feature of regional conversions that is observed elsewhere, but was frequently completed in this region to recycle the present pin holes (which were usually in the middle of inlays
). With that said, I would like to qualify my previous post--you have a John Parks rifle, which is probably a product of Jr., but could as easily be a Sr.


   
« Last Edit: January 16, 2009, 08:29:51 PM by nord »
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