Antique gun show Saturday at Metamora Courthouse

Staff Writer
Woodford Times

The Metamora Courthouse State Historic Site will host a one day Antique Gun Show from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.  The event is free and open to the public, and is accessible to persons with disabilities.

Gunsmith and author Curtis L. Johnson will show restored muskets and rifles that were made originally by early gunsmiths in Peoria, Pekin, Bloomington, Chillicothe, Henry, Princeton, LaSalle, Peru, Ottawa, Canton, Magnolia and other locations in central Illinois.  Antique gunmakers' tools will also be on display, and some antique gun pieces will be for sale.

Johnson has been restoring antique guns for more than 40 years.  He has also researched and written about Illinois gunsmiths who worked from the 1600s into the early 1900s.  His two-volume book Gunmakers of Illinois, 1683-1900 will be for sale at the April 21 event, and he will sign each one sold.  Johnson will appraise unloaded, private antique guns as time allows.

Admission to the Antique Gun Show is free, but guests who would like to donate are encouraged to make a $10 contribution to the Woodford County Historical Society's Metamora Courthouse Fund.  This event also marks the beginning of the last step of fundraising to complete the exterior woodwork restoration of the Metamora Courthouse.  The Woodford County Historical Society's Metamora Courthouse Fund has paid for the successful repair and painting of the columns and the portico in the last two years.  A new goal of raising another $65,000 to restore the cupola (tower) has been set, with completion of the work later this year.

For more information about this show or the restoration of the courthouse, contact Mr. Jean Myers, Curator, at 367-4470 or at  Regular visitors' hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. with other times by appointment.

Metamora Courthouse State Historic Site, administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, was built in 1845 and is one of two remaining original courthouses on the historic Eighth Judicial Circuit.  Attorney Abraham Lincoln was among those who frequented the courthouse.  It is located on the town square in Metamora and is open for free public tours.