As a part of the renovation of the Oldham County History Center’s Peyton Samuel Head Family Museum, a replica Kentucky long rifle was hand crafted for the entrance exhibit. Displayed prominently in The Borderland &Western Frontier exhibit, the rifle is a symbol of the American frontiersman and the times in which he lived. Depended upon for food and safety, the long rifle was as important as the clothes he wore. Many of the early settlers to the Harrod’s Creek area of Oldham County carried their Kentucky long rifle into battle with them during the War of 1812.
Gun Maker Terry Peterman skillfully recreated the long rifle for this display. “I made a Southern, Tennessee poor boy for the History Center- it comes from the old saying, “lock, stock and barrel”. It is about as plain as you can get. The golden age of flint locks was between 1750 and 1840 and those are the periods I concentrate on to make. There are so many different types and schools of muzzleloaders.” The gun is made from striped ash. “The flintlock was used from 1640 or 50 until the cap lock was invented in 1840. Boone, Kenton, and Harrod, would have used a gun like the one I made for the History Center. It was the improvement of the lock that made this a better gun then those previously in 1750.”
Peterman will be on hand on Sunday, March 19 for The Artifacts Speak, a new program held every first and third Sundays of the month in the museum. He will be available to explain and answer questions about his work from 1-3 p.m. He became interested in shooting muzzleloaders in 1975 and had someone make one for him. After that, “I decided I would make my own gun. I only make flint locks.” The Kentucky flintlock-hunting rifle was actually created by immigrant craftsman from Germany and Switzerland in the 1730s in Lancaster, Pa. The rifle remained a state of the art gun for the next 100 years
The Peyton Samuel Head Family Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am-4 pm and on Sundays from 12-4 pm. Admission is $8 per adult/$6 for seniors, military or children, and free for children under age 4. Visitors can get in free with a paid membership. For more information contact the History Center at (502) 222-0826.
Picture attached for media purposes: Terry Peterman holding the long rifle he made for the Oldham County History Center museum exhibit.