When employees of Nevada’s Great Basin National Park went out on a routine check, they came across something totally extraordinary. In a remote area of the park, they found an 1882 Winchester rifle leaning up against one of the trees.
Because it had been left there more than a century before (some experts are claiming it was abandoned about 132 years ago!), it had become rusted and weathered.
If the park employees had not been looking closely, they would never have noticed the rifle. Over the years, it had taken on much the same colors as the juniper tree it was rested against. This natural camouflage explains why it had gone undiscovered for a century.
Scroll down for a video and to hear what archaeologists say about the Winchester 1873 rifle!
Anyone that has visited the Great Basin National Park in Nevada has been blessed with beautiful night skies and epic terrain.
But finding this old gun leaning against the tree was a different kind of excitement. Archaeologists were excited by the find. Here’s what they shared with GeoBeats News via the YouTube video description:
“A Winchester Rifle that dates back to 1882 was discovered leaning up against a tree. Park employees shared photos of the find on Facebook.
The Park’s Facebook post wrote: “The cracked wood stock, weathered to grey, and the brown rusted barrel blended into the colors of the old juniper tree in a remote rocky outcrop, keeping the rifle hidden for many years.”
Although the gun had been left behind about one hundred and thirty years ago, the serial number was still legible. When investigators did some digging, they found that the digits on the serial matched documentation at Wyoming’s Cody Firearms Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Amazing find indeed!
Those details indicated that this rifle was manufactured and shipped in the year 1882. But the paperwork does not say who bought the gun – leaving a piece of the mystery unsolved.
In 1882, more than 25,000 models of this rifle were sold for $25-50.
Because the firearm is an amazing find, park employees continue to search for its original owner. They really want to know WHY this gun was left leaning up against a tree in Nevada.
After the investigation is finished, the rifle will go back to the Great Basin National Park to be put on exhibit. It will be shown as part of the National Park Service centennial festivities and the Great Basic National Park’s 30th birthday!
Nearly 500,000 people have watched the YouTube video report about this long-lost Winchester. Here are some of the most popular comments:
“i have spent a lot of time up in this part of the world and have found old mines and mining gear that look like they had only been there a few yrs.”
“I wonder how many people walked by it over the years?”
What would you do if you found an old Winchester rifled on a hike in the park?
Please SHARE YOUR REACTION TO THIS STORY in the comments below now!