Historic pistols return to Darke County

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GREENVILLE – Four pistols, two percussions and two flintlocks, have returned to Darke County after several years. They were graciously donated by Jon and Pam Brown of Arizona, a former resident of New Weston, Ohio. Not only have these historical firearms returned, but the two flintlock models are now residing in the new Lewis and Clark display in the Garst Museum’s Crossroads of Destiny wing.

Despite the age of these flintlock pistols (estimated to be from the early 1700s), both firearms still contain the original flints. Furthermore, the larger of the two has a flower motif inlaid in the brass plating, indicating that it was possibly a trade gun. The other pistol has a crescent moon motif among stars, indicating a Middle Eastern influence. Both flintlock pistols are on permanent display at the Garst Museum.

The other two guns, both percussions, will be displayed in the future. While the history of one pistol is currently unknown, the other has been identified as a French officer’s pistol manufactured in 1822. It was also found that it had likely been a flintlock initially and was later converted into a percussion pistol, meaning that it no longer requires a flint to be fired.

Mr. Brown recalls taking the pistols to school and showing them to his fellow classmates for a History Day exhibit. Prior to his donating them to the Darke County Historical Society, all four firearms had been in his family for as long as he could remember. According to Jon, “Our family believes the Garst Museum will respect the history of these guns and secure their future for all to enjoy.” The firearms have been donated in memory of Harley, Mabel, and William Blood, and George and Mary Jane Brown, formerly of New Weston, Ohio.