1870-1890 Winchester 44 Bullet Mold
Kirk and Wendy Post of Charlevoix brought us a bullet mold that was found between the wall studs in a house being remodeled in Charlevoix. Attached to the handle of the bullet mold was a note that said the mold had been passed to Berth Harris Moore (first white baby born in Norwood township), daughter of William Harris (Apple Blossom Willie) state senator, teacher, post-master. The only markings placed on this mold was the caliber which in this case is “44 W.C.F.” located on the left handle. The lettering led to the discovery that the bullet mold was the 5th variation of the first mold that Winchester introduced in 1873.
Winchester rifle is a comprehensive term describing a series of lever-action repeating rifles manufactured by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. Developed from the 1860 Henry rifle, Winchester rifles were among the earliest repeaters. The Model 1873 was particularly successful, being colloquially known as “The Gun that Won the West”.
The Great Lakes have been sailed upon since at least the 17th century when some of the first ships were built on Lake Ontario. It is not unusual for parts of sunken ships to wash up on our shores. Mike Spilis and his grand-daughter Katy Kania found a wonderful artifact on the shores of Lake Michigan close to Fisherman’s Island.
We are still working, but this artifact appears to be a ships spar. A spar is a pole of wood in the rigging of a sailing vessel to carry or support its sail.
What we do know is:
* The artifact is approximately three feet long. While it could be broken off, the ends look rounded as if finished at one time.
* The five holes are hand hewn; there was not a power tool used. The edges and interior of the holes were done with a hand hew ax and a bore.
* The sides of the wood are shaped giving a slightly rounded edge.
* Although it is hard to tell when something has been in the water a long time, the wood appears to be hand planed.