Though Sam’s birthday is actually Oct. 26th we celebrated on the 21st which was on a Saturday affording us the time to play. Though the weather forecast promised rain we decided not to let that dampen the fun event we had planned. We proceeded on as scheduled and had a very good turnout. As chance would have it the weather took little recesses with intermittent dry spells giving us time to have a great birthday shooting competition.
One of the attendees , Mark S. ; very kindly shared with us some targets created especially for muzzleloading shoots. These targets are reactive making the shooting experience even more exciting. We had competitors with all styles of firearms in both flint and percussion ignitions. There was the option of shooting from the bench or from standing position thus offering something for all.
The party lasted a good part of the day with coffee and cookies available throughout the competition time. All competitors brought a blanket prize and every attendee came with a dish for the potluck which in itself proved to be quite a feast. The food was good and plentiful with homemade breads, biscuits salads, cookies, cakes and more. The blanket prizes were amazing and Sam was very impressed and pleased with the number of participants.
After the competition there was eating, visiting, exchanges of ideas for future shoots and the awards. Mr. Hobie and Top Knot (Andy Ward) won first prizes for the standing competition and the bench competition receiving the first ever issued Sam Hawken pewter medallions. Overall winner Top Knot received a small trophy and has his name on the Sam Hawken annual birthday shoot plaque hanging in Greene’s Gun Shop. To celebrate his birthday Sam gave everyone a small remembrance gift to take home
We all had a fun time and Sam thanks everyone who attended. You’re all invited back for his next birthday shoot and he extends the invitation to those who were unable to attend this year.
The rendezvous held here on Aug. 18-19-20 was very well received by all who attended. This was our first experience at the new camping site and it proved to be very conducive to our needs. We have spent a good part of the year in preparation and cleared as many sites as we possibly could with our skeleton crew. Campers arrived and the woods filled with tents and tipis for the primitive attendees. There were those that came to shoot in the muzzleloading competitions and those that came for the archery and the trail walk with the hawk and knife throw. Then too, some came simply to visit with old and new friends. With the burn ban in effect there were no fires allowed for cooking. That possibility had been anticipated and the mountain men as always were on top of their game and made other arrangements for their food preparation. The grounds have now been gently broken in and we have hopes of opening up more sites to accommodate more campers. Those with modern tents and tin tipis set up in the modern camping area provided for them
The rendezvous was enhanced by the attendance of those from the Ruxton Museum. They kindly set up a display of original rifles to share and explained their history and function . Those persons who stopped by and visited with them were intrigued and impressed with these works of art from a bygone era. An era they and we are working to preserve and continue. We thank them for their help and participation. For more information on the museum visit their site at ruxtonmuseum.org
The rendezvous wound up with ending awards ceremonies giving ribbons and prizes for the winners in the various events. We have had some suggestions on other fun competitions we may consider including such as a frying pan toss. We like to have suggestions on how we can improve and make the future rendezvous more fun for all. Of course with more events we need more people to run them. We hope everyone will encourage others to come and join us. We need to make efforts to let the public know they are welcome to come, to learn and to experience and enjoy this special part of America’s history.
Special thanks to Our Booshay Chris (Packrat) for all the hard work he did in preparation for the shoot and his time during the shoot. We congratulate him also on the great score he got with the S. Hawken he built from one of our kits. More images after the break.
Continue reading “RENDEZVOUS (a gathering of two or more individuals at a predesignated time and place)”
Some of the rendezvous around our area have been going on and we’ve heard great reports on how fun and well attended they have been. We have to rely on information from others as we are unable to attend, Sam Hawken sees to it that we keep busy at work.
Our rendezvous is fast approaching and the weather as of late has been cooperating giving us some dry days to work on the new rendezvous site. Sam affords us some free time to do this We have been clearing brush and getting camp sites and traders row ready for our August event.
We will again have the shooting competitions and an ongoing hawk and knife trail walk. Traders will be on hand with goods to peak your interest and enhance your rendezvous attire. Whether you are a seasoned mountain man/woman or a pilgrim new to the art of muzzleloading you are sure to see something to intrigue you.
Curious and unfamiliar with the muzzleloading world? This is your chance to step back in time and learn this fun family sport from those involved. You will find a great, interesting group of people willing and happy to share their knowledge with you and help you get a start enjoying this fascinating pastime.
Interested in attending or interested in being a trader? For more information contact the following sources
The Hawken Shop at 360-679-4657. Visit our website at http://www.thehawkenshop.com
Kris Kingle Booshway at 360-720-0519
Greene’s Gun Shop at 360-675-3421. Or stop by and pick up a flyer.
Mark your calendar for August 19, 20, and 21st and plan to join us. Check back here for any additional updates we may have.
Every now and then one encounters someone or something so significance, so special and unexpected it’s hard to grasp the reality of its presence. That was how it recently was at the Hawken Shop.
For some time we had been in communication with a person who said he had a Hawken rifle. He was in search of a screw for the hammer of this gun which had been in his possession for a long while. He admitted to having no knowledge about muzzleloaders but was absolutely certain this was a Hawken.
In the early 1970’s; following the movie Jeremiah Johnson, several companies began offering what they referred to as a Hawken Rifle. Production was high and the market was flooded resulting in these guns being deemed as Hawken . With that, Hawken became a generic word and was tagged onto nearly any half stocked muzzleloading rifle being made. Years ago guns made in a production manner as such were calłed “Hardware Guns”. A handful of major firearm companies produced guns of a certain style making some minor mechanical and visual changes. They would give these guns a different name or model than those of their regular production and offer them up for sale in hardware stores. This was and still remains a common practice among some companies. In a similar vein this is what occurred with the Hawken rifle.
Continue reading “A SCENT WAS IN THE AIR”
October 26th is an important day for those of us harboring a fascination with HAWKEN rifles and rifles of that style. On that day in 1792 Samuel Hawken was born to Christian and Juliana HAwken in Hagerstown Maryland. Sam was one of their many children and is closely associated in history with his older brother Jacob. It is thought that the bothers learned the gunsmithing trade from their father Christian who some believe worked at the Harper’s Ferry Arsenal/Armory. Sam and Jacob eventually joined together in St. Louis and created what has become a rifle of much notarity. This renown half stock plains rifle is most recognized from the 1970’s movie Jeremian Johnson. The movie staring Robert Redford did much in establishng an aura of irrepressible mystique and rekindled an ever growing interest in the rifle and the era in which it was portrayed. It is a place and time in American history that has captured and held the interest of many ……it needs to be preserved. We at the HAWKEN SHOP are working to do just that and with that in mind decided to pay homage to Sam by acknowledging his birthday with a celebration!H
The day concluded in our little cabin with a hearty meal of chili, macaroni salads, deviled eggs, apple crisp, coffee, brownies, and more. Of course there was cake……….not the typical birthday cake but a delicious lemon cake provided by B.Z. One of our newest inductees.
A small gathering of others also involved with muzzleloading came in full dress to join us in the celebration. The weather threatened to dampen our spirits with a tiny sprinkling of rain but it did not succeed. Smoke was made as shots were fired in a friendly competition. When the shooting was finished and the targets checked “TWO BALLS” was the overall winner. He will be the first to have his name on our S. Hawken Annual Birthday Shoot perpetual plaque. He received an individual trophy to take home as well.
And what’s a birthday party without presents?!!!! All attending received a short printed article about Sam himself, a HAWKEN SHOP key fob and a small pocket knife.
We had fun celebrating Sam’s 224th birthday Andt while we didn’t see the guest of honor wandering around we figure he was there in spirit. Then again…..at the end of the day all the lemon cake had somehow disappeared. Guess Sam might like cake.
We thank everyone who attended and look forward to next year’s celebration.
THE HAWKEN SHOP
Think it’s true? “What is in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” In the case of Sam HAWKEN he just happened to be the rose. There were a great many gunsmiths in St. Louis Mo. in the early 1800’s and Jacob and Sam HAWKEN were among them. That era saw St. Louis as a bustling city busy with traders, trappers and fur companies all preparing for their adventures to the west. Across the rivers and the plains to the Rocky Mountains and beyond they went in search of furs to meet public demand. These large fur companies employed a lot of men and these men needed to be outfitted with knives, traps and of course firearms. Small shops like the one run by Sam and Jacob HAWKEN didn’t have the manpower to build enough rifles to meet the needs of these large companies. There were, however; shops that could.
St. Louis was home to a lot of gunsmiths of different levels of talent. HAWKEN wasn’t necessarily the best gunsmith but his name is the one most often brought to mind when talking about the fur trade and its firearms. Sam HAWKEN built a fine rifle, a half stocked large caliber gun capable of taking big game. Grizzly bear, bighorn sheep, elk, bison and more would be encountered on travels to the west. A firearm sturdy enough to endure the abuse it would encounter on long journeys into the unsettled wilderness was a must. For the most part however, Sam Hawken’s name is associated with mountain men of such notarity, as Bridger, Carson, Meek, Tobin, Cody and a score of others. While these men owned HAWKEN rifles it was in their later years, long after the heyday of the fur trade. Still, the HAWKEN name prevails. In the 1970’s, by chance; the name HAWKEN was the Rose that was plucked from a bush of many roses and used in a very popular movie. It was then that “Jeremiah Johnson” (Johnston) came on the scene starring Robert Redford as the mountain man who left civilization after the civil war and headed for the wilderness looking for the peace he hoped to find. In the movie Johnson wanted a certain rifle…….a HAWKEN. It’s through the choice made by the movie people to use HAWKEN as the key firearm in the movie that is responsible for the recognition this gun enjoys after so many years.
A rifle built by any other gunsmith in St. Louisduring that time could have just as well become the rose. So, in this case a rose by any other name COULD have smelled as sweet. But it is HAWKEN that became the Rose and his name is now synonymous with the fur trappers and their phenomenal adventures.