Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A trip through the Way Back Machine!

On Valentine's Day Joe and I paid a visit to my parents home. Joe and Dad were talking guns, and I was reminded of a bit of family history that may or may not be true. I asked Dad to re-tell this tale and here it is so I don't forget it again:
My father is in possession of a sawed off, side hammer, double barrel shot gun (modified so it can not shoot, so it is legal to own). It was given to him from his father (my Grandpa John who lived 1911-1995). Grandpa John was given this gun by his Brother-in-Law, who was named George Hackett . This is the history of the gun that was given to Grandpa John at that time...
Now this is where the story gets interesting, as well as a bit fuzzy on the facts! It is a known fact that Black Bart, who was a notorious Wells Fargo Stage robber in California, was only wounded twice during his illegal deeds. The first time was on July 13, 1882. The stage driver was named George Hackett (distant relative? Coincidence in names?). A web page dedicated to Black Bart can tell the story better than I:

*Note: Wells Fargo drivers did not usually carry rifles, but instead carried sawed off shot guns for protection

The sawed off shot gun that has passed from hand to hand; family member to family member; is rumored to be THE gun that almost finished off Black Bart!

My Dad is thinking about tracing back that side of the family once he retires, just to see if the relations add up. My Grandfather's Brother-in-Law did grow up in the right area of California, and his family had been in the area for a few generations, from what I understand. The Brother-in-law George Hackett could have been the grandson, or great-grandson of the Stage Coach Mr. Hackett.

SO, is this a true story or just a fantasy tale attached to this gun? Many things do add up (time, place, family names) but there is ONE very major flaw. THE gun that shot and wounded Black Bart was put on display by Wells Fargo during the 1911 Worlds Fair. I guess the question here is: Does Wells Fargo still have possession of the famous gun, or did they borrow it from Mr. Hackett for the display, returning it after the Worlds Fair?


1 comment:

Chief Rock Chef said...

That is so cool! I hope the story is true.

I wouldn't be too concerned about the gun displayed at the world fair - I would not think that they would look too hard for the real one, just put up something that looked suitable!