Revolutionary-Era Rifle Stolen from Valley Forge National Historic Park Finds Its Way Home After Nearly 50 Years

Ken Knickerbocker
By
A rare Revolutionary-era flintlock rifle has found its way home after being stolen from the visitor center at Valley Forge National Historical Park nearly 50 years ago. Image via Inquirer.com.

A rare Revolutionary-era flintlock rifle has found its way home after being stolen from the visitor center at Valley Forge National Historical Park nearly 50 years ago, writes Jeremy Roebuck for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

One of the few surviving works of John Christian Oerter, the Pennsylvania master gun-maker, was found by antique dealer Kelly Kinzle at a barn sale last year. He then handed it over to the FBI.

In the 13 months since, the FBI, Upper Merion Police Department, and Montgomery County Detectives have worked on tracing the weapon back to the person who stole it in 1971.

The investigation is still ongoing, but in the meantime, the weapon has been returned to the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution, who originally donated it to Valley Forge in 1963 for display.

The rifle is now on display at the Museum of the American Revolution.

“This significant piece of American Revolutionary history is now back where it belongs, displayed in a museum to be viewed and enjoyed by all Americans,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele.

Read more about the rifle at The Philadelphia Inquirer by clicking here.

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