FULTON, NY – The sixth annual Hunter Arms Weekend will take place August 19 and 20 with the same historical entertainment expected as years past.
The weekend draws guests to Fulton from all over including as far as Alaska to display, shoot and learn more about the historic Hunter Arms/L.C. Smith gun manufacturer that once thrived in the city.
John Hunter Sr. and the Hunter family purchased a gun manufacturing company from L.C. Smith and opened a factory for production in 1889 in Fulton under the Hunter Arms Company name to continue making L.C. Smith guns.
The factory thrived for 60 years in Fulton, known as “The City The Depression Missed” with such a prosperous industrial core, until a floor collapse threatened suspension of manufacturing and forced the factory to close its doors in 1950.
Today, the Hunter Arms Company and renowned L.C. Smith gun collection are honored through the Friends of History in Fulton, Inc. with a weekend long event dedicated to showcasing and reminiscing on the factory’s distinguished history.
The weekend kicks off Friday afternoon (August 19) at the John Wells Pratt House Museum, 177 S. First St., with multiple L.C. Smith historical displays throughout the first floor of the museum.
Collectors and guests alike will meet at RFH’s Hideaway restaurant located at 1058 County Route 57, for a welcoming get together Friday evening.
The fun continues Saturday morning (August 20) with an L.C. Smith shooting competiton at Pathfinder Fish and Game Club located at 116 Crescent Road.
Registration for the competition begins at 8 a.m. with the shoot expected to start at 9 a.m. promptly.
Specific to this shoot, only L.C. Smith guns are permitted in the competition offering a unique perspective as all L.C. Smith guns were handcrafted so each gun will be different.
In fact, one of the most notable characteristics of L.C. Smith collections are the intricate details that were permanently etched in each production making no two guns the same.
After the shoot, eight awards including Mayor’s Award, People’s Choice, Hunter Award, Best of Show, Trap, Skeet, 5-Stand and High Gun will be presented to shooters from the competition.
A cash bar and dinner will precede the awards banquet starting at 6:30 p.m. at Tavern on the Lock located at 24 S. First St. in Fulton.
Both days, the displays will remain open at John Wells Pratt House Museum and guests will be able to visit a room in the museum that remains dedicated to the Hunter Arms Company.
The Hunter Arms/L.C. Smith room in the museum has even seen new additions recently in the form of a very rare lenox vase that was given as a prize for shoot competitions in the early 20th century by L.C. Smith.
As the weekend is such a important testament to Fulton history, Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr. and the common council have recently presented the Friends of History with a proclamation declaring August 20, 2016 as “Hunter Arms Homecoming Day.”
“It’s amazing the engravers they had and what they can do, that’s talent that is quite lost today. It shows you what tradesman we had that built this country and kind of makes you wish we had a little of that back. If you get the chance, it’s well worth seeing” said Mayor Woodward.
Whether shooting, displaying, or enjoying the weekend as a guest, Friends of History officials are sure everyone will be pleased the weekend’s activities.
“I didn’t know much about the Hunter Arms Company and I’m not much of a gun person, but I consider these guns for the most part, works of art. The detail and workmanship is just incredible. To think they were made in Fulton 100 plus years ago and are still functioning and still beautiful, it’s amazing and we should all be proud of that,” said Pratt House manager, Sue Lane.
For more information on Hunter Arms Weekend including registration information, contact the Friends of Fulton History, Inc. at the Pratt House by phone, (315) 598-4616.