Author Topic: Interlaken Historical Society Longrifles  (Read 4999 times)

Offline Dale Campbell

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Interlaken Historical Society Longrifles
« on: July 16, 2008, 04:22:08 PM »
Last week I was volunteering with our Boy Scout troop at Camp Barton scout camp.  I drove the Indian Lore group to the Interlaken Historical Society, Interlaken, NY to see some items.  They also have a small collection of guns, including two long rifles.  I took some pictures through the Plexiglas, then the guide opened the case and allowed me to take more.  I have permission to post these pictures here, as long as I give attribution.  I didn’t have a ruler or tape, so I don’t have measurements.  I did post on seeing these rifles a couple years ago, but without pictures, and with the archives in the process of being moved (Thanks, guys. I have some idea of the trouble you’re going to) I thought I’d start over. 

I want to make the museum aware of this thread for their information, and will pass the web address to them.  If there are any questions about details on the guns that you are interested in, I can pass them on to the guide and try to get an answer.  They look forward to any information they can learn about these pieces.

I don’t have a Photobucket account.  Since I’m posting from work, I don’t think I should create one here either (dialup from home).  If someone would add these to their account, I’d email the pictures to them. Any offers?
The first is a percussion fullstock rifle.  Possibly or probably shortened.  Barrel looks to be tapered, and maybe only about 36” long.”L Coon” stamped on the barrel.  Lock by Issacs. Looks like it was always percussion.  Brass patchbox. Nice tiger maple stock with roman nose character.  Possibly Upper Susquehanna?  No carving or inlays. Keyed barrel.

The second is a percussion fullstock rifle with a full length swamped barrel.  Buttstock is pretty straight (ala Lancaster or York). Brass hardware, except for a highly engraved patchbox in what may be German silver. Bethlehem star on the cheekpiece (possibly silver?). Patchbox sides and finial are one piece. Stock appears to be figured walnut, but no carving.    Inlays over the barrel keys.  Engraved name on the barrel is “J (or I or T) Guest”.  End of the barrel has a ring of little circles stamped in, and the tang is nicely engraved to.  Probably converted from flint, as there is evidence of the pan being cut off, and a slot behind the hammer for a flint hammer.  Lock has an outline similar to a Maslin, nicely engraved, including over the cutoff pan.  Has the names “Sweitzer & Lehn” engraved on the front.

Is it possible the patchbox was added when the lock was converted?  Engraving on both, and the tang is very nice.  It shows in some of the photos that even some of the nail heads were engraved to match the surrounding engraving.  However, the patchbox sits well proud of the wood surface.
Best regards,
Dale

timM

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Re: Interlaken Historical Society Longrifles
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2008, 10:26:48 PM »
Dale,...I would be happy to help. If you would like, send them to my email address that is on my ALR profile.  I will put them on this thread when I get home tonight. tim

Offline awol

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Re: Interlaken Historical Society Longrifles
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2008, 11:48:17 PM »
Dale, I think the one rifle is by J. Guest of Lancaster.  Guest made some contract rifles for the govt.  There was a lock maker named Sweitzer also in Lancaster but I haven't found anything on  Lehn or sweitzer & Lehn.  I believe the patchbox was later added, mostly because (if I recall correctly) of engraving on the key escutcheons which looked like a different hand than the box, star, and lock.  Like maybe it was spruced up when converted to caplock.
The L. Coon rifle I think has a repair to the wood between the lock & breech tang, so I couldn't tell for sure if it was originnally flint.  There was an L. Coon and son working in nearby Ithaca.
They are both nice rifles and the museum has a nice collection.

timM

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Re: Interlaken Historical Society Longrifles
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2008, 03:07:24 AM »














1 of 2 parts

Offline Dale Campbell

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Re: Interlaken Historical Society Longrifles
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2008, 03:23:15 PM »
"There was an L. Coon and son working in nearby Ithaca."

Hmm.  That would make it very Upper Susquehanna.  Like right into the St. Lawrence basin. ;)
Best regards,
Dale

Offline 490roundball

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Re: Interlaken Historical Society Longrifles
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2008, 04:05:05 PM »
"There was an L. Coon and son working in nearby Ithaca."

Hmm.  That would make it very Upper Susquehanna.  Like right into the St. Lawrence basin. ;)

Well,  A quick geography lesson,  Ithaca is a long ways from the St. Lawrence.   Some streams to the in the southern part of that area do in fact drain to the Susquehanna via a couple smaller rivers.  Gunsmith wise the Finger Lakes area was a mix.  At least some came from PA, I am not framiliar with Coon,  Abel Losey came from the NJ/PA upper Delaware area, He settled in Trumansburg just down the road from Interlaken.  His son partnered with a Lull from New England and move the shop to an area SE of Ithaca.

Setlement wise it was the same, a mix of Pa and Yankees (thats were the Penn Yann town gets its name).  So both the influance and import of existing guns will be a mix

Rick   
"It's a poor word that can't be spelt two ways" Tom Yeardley in Swanson's Silent Drum

Offline Dale Campbell

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Re: Interlaken Historical Society Longrifles
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2008, 04:02:29 PM »
Thanks, guys.  Do you have any info on when Coon or Guest were active?  I don't have any of the standard texts myself. 

By the way, the guide who opened the case for me has been following this thread.  Any information on either of these gunsmiths will be a help to the museum.

Best regards,
Dale

Offline Steve Collward

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Re: Interlaken Historical Society Longrifles
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2008, 03:12:16 PM »
Dale:
   Gunmaker Levi Coon, Sr. (b. 7/16/1792/d. 1/3/1860) worked in Ithaca, N.Y.  apprx. 1820-34, Motts Corners(Brooktondale) 1834-35; then returned to Ithaca 1835-1860.
    Livi, Sr. had four sons; David, Daniel, Levi, Jr. and Simeon who were all gunsmiths. All worked in or around the Ithaca area.
It is noted that Daniel was only 21 when he died (3/22/46) and David drowned in a flood in 1857 when he was about 37 years old.
   This information was taken from Vol. 1 of The New York State Firearms Trade (Swinney/Rowe).  There is a great deal more biographical information on the Coon's in this book.
   I hope this information is helpful.

Steve Collward

   

Offline 490roundball

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Re: Interlaken Historical Society Longrifles
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2008, 05:18:56 PM »
Interesting - Brocktondale/Motts corners in the town of Caroline what I was referring to as Se of Ithaca.

I had not noticed the Coon name in other notes but checking I found

"Abiel Losey and Alva Lull were working in Butternuts (modern Morris) by about 1816 and may have been forging barrels even before that in Chenango County. Henry McCormick made barrels before 1820 in Owego, and in Ithaca Levi Coon set up a hammer (for which Triphammer Falls is named) to forge barrels late in 1820 or early in 1821. In 1835 Coon established the barrel forge in Mott’s Corners (modern Brooktondale) that was run for almost half a century afterward, first by Alva Lull and then by his descendants and Abiel Losey’s. " from the Herkimer County Historical Society website  - http://herkimer.nygenweb.net/ilion/RemingtonStory.html

the Motts Corners gun shop became a blanket mill in the late 1800s.  Some of these gentlemen  rest in the cemetary in that village.  I have not yet located the "gun factory cemetary" in Trumansburg
Rick
« Last Edit: July 20, 2008, 05:19:30 PM by Rick Losey »
"It's a poor word that can't be spelt two ways" Tom Yeardley in Swanson's Silent Drum

Offline awol

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Re: Interlaken Historical Society Longrifles
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2008, 03:37:14 AM »
Re: J. Guest
The KRA book "Selected Articles ...."  lists John Guest as a gunsmith in Lancaster Boro 1802-1811, and Daniel Sweiter (sic) as a locksmith in same boro 1829.
In "The Penna.-Kentuckey Rifle"  Kauffman puts Guest in Lancaster 1802.
The KRA website gave same info on Guest & said he produced 1808 Contract rifles for the govt.  Also gave same info on sweitzer with that spelling.