search
Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

archaeology
subscribe
Special Introductory Offer!

Forgotten Rifle Discovered in Great Basin National Park

Thursday, January 15, 2015

BAKER, NEVADA—Last fall, the staff at Great Basin National Park found a 132-year-old Winchester rifle, “the gun that won the West,” leaning against a juniper tree in the backcountry. Nichole Andler, chief of interpretation at Great Basin, says that the rifle appears to have been exposed to sun, wind, snow, and rain for many years. Its wood stock has turned grey and has cracked, and the barrel is rusted. A Model 1873 repeating rifle, it bears a serial number that records its manufacture and shipping date in 1882, but the records do not indicate who purchased the rifle, which sold for an affordable $25 at the time. The cultural resource staff at Great Basin National Park is continuing to look for information in period newspapers and family histories for more information on the rifle. Conservators will treat the gun before it is put on display. To read more in-depth about archaeology and the American West, see "A New Look at the Donner Party."

Advertisement

Advertisement


Advertisement