Special Collections

Gun collection and Native American artifacts donated by H.P. Shumway.

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About the Collection

Information taken from articles in The Wakefield Republican.

 Last week H.P. Shumway bought a collection of old weapons of Otto Busch of Blair, NE. He had been gathering these for twenty years and it was one of the finest private collections in the state.

There are 77 different makes of old revolvers, some of them very odd, 8 old rifles and some swords and knives. Many of them have interesting histories. One is a French saber picked up on the battlefield of Mars-la-Tour in the Franco-Prussian War by C. Luepbke, after his own had been broken in a fight. Mr. Luepbke was afterwards German Lutheran minister at Blair. There is a fine bone handled hunting knife given in gratitude for saving his life by a Grand Duke of Russia to an ancestor of Mr. Kurtzman of Calhoun, a short, brass handle and hilt, double edge, Spanish sword of the 16th century make, plowed up by Herman Ritcher at Fontenelle in 1871, and a fine hunting knife thrown away on the White Pass Trail in the Klondike, picked up and brought here by M. Hartswell. These added to Mr. Shumway’s former collection makes a very interesting exhibit.

The collection was given to Graves Public Library in 1924 by Shumway. Philo Graves, who built the old library and gave it to Wakefield, had cases built from walnut lumber from Graves City Park to display the collection. The collection was kept in the basement of the old library.

Shumway also donated a collection of Native American artifacts to the library at the same time. A second collection of Native American arrowheads and other Native American artifacts was given to the public library from the children of Leonard and Esther Converse.

The collections were placed in display cases in the lobby of the Gardner Public Library when it was built in 2004.

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