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A shot of history

This powder horn has been in Gord Penton’s family for over 100 years. While it doesn’t hold much monetary value, Penton said its sentimental value is priceless. The horn is covered in interesting carvings.
This powder horn has been in Gord Penton’s family for over 100 years. While it doesn’t hold much monetary value, Penton said its sentimental value is priceless. The horn is covered in interesting carvings.

Gord Penton’s powder horn has helped to put a lot of meals on the family table over the past 100 years or so.

While he knows how long it’s been in his family, Penton said there’s some mystery surrounding the piece of family history.

“It came from my great-grandmother’s side of the family,” he said. “They were Bakers and that’s about all I know of its origin.”

Penton said he suspects the family powder horn to be around 125 years old, noting it has been passed down from generation to generation.

“It was passed down the line,” he said. “My father had it and my brother had it before me.”

Penton acquired the piece of history following the death of his brother 15 years ago, noting his brother oput it to good use.

“He used it for the purpose it was intended for,” he said. “He was a bird hunter; ducks, turs and all of that. He would carry his powder in the horn and carry a shot bag over his shoulder, using an old muzzleloader.”

The process of loading the gun back then is much different than loading today’s modern firearms.

“You’d use the horn to put some powder down in the muzzle, then put some oakum down there, then the shot and some more oakum on top,” he said. “You had better keep that gun tight to your shoulder or you’d lose half your shoulder.”

The powder horn is littered with engravings, some of which are a mystery to Penton.

The engravings include images of fishing vessels, guns and animals, but there’s also flags, initials and numbers.

“In those days, a lot of those horns were carved by sailors who would be sailing from one port to another,” he said. “Back in those days the trip would probably takes weeks, so there’d be times when the sailors would just sit on deck and carve things like that.”

While Penton believes the horn holds little monetary value, its family significance is priceless to him.

“It has a lot of sentimental value,” he said.

 

banstey@ganderbeacon.ca

Twitter:@beaconnl

 

 

While he knows how long it’s been in his family, Penton said there’s some mystery surrounding the piece of family history.

“It came from my great-grandmother’s side of the family,” he said. “They were Bakers and that’s about all I know of its origin.”

Penton said he suspects the family powder horn to be around 125 years old, noting it has been passed down from generation to generation.

“It was passed down the line,” he said. “My father had it and my brother had it before me.”

Penton acquired the piece of history following the death of his brother 15 years ago, noting his brother oput it to good use.

“He used it for the purpose it was intended for,” he said. “He was a bird hunter; ducks, turs and all of that. He would carry his powder in the horn and carry a shot bag over his shoulder, using an old muzzleloader.”

The process of loading the gun back then is much different than loading today’s modern firearms.

“You’d use the horn to put some powder down in the muzzle, then put some oakum down there, then the shot and some more oakum on top,” he said. “You had better keep that gun tight to your shoulder or you’d lose half your shoulder.”

The powder horn is littered with engravings, some of which are a mystery to Penton.

The engravings include images of fishing vessels, guns and animals, but there’s also flags, initials and numbers.

“In those days, a lot of those horns were carved by sailors who would be sailing from one port to another,” he said. “Back in those days the trip would probably takes weeks, so there’d be times when the sailors would just sit on deck and carve things like that.”

While Penton believes the horn holds little monetary value, its family significance is priceless to him.

“It has a lot of sentimental value,” he said.

 

banstey@ganderbeacon.ca

Twitter:@beaconnl

 

 

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