The gunsmiths of Logan County

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Huntsville craftsman shares history of local firearms

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Huntsville gunsmith Ray Quay discusses historic rifles he restored that were made by local gunsmith Mesheck “Mose” Moxley and hang in the Underground Railroad room at the Logan County History Center. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)

In the mid-19th century, Logan County was home to 19 gunsmiths, including an escaped slave who has become the most famous of them, a local gunsmith told guests at the Logan County Historical Society meeting Wednesday evening.

Mesheck “Mose” Moxley operated a gunsmith shop first on the corner of Main Street and Buckingham Avenue and later on Pratt Street next to the Bellefontaine Carriage & Body Shop, Ray Quay, owner of Huntsville’s Sergeant’s Gunsmithing, told the group.

“This was a very unusual trade for an African-American at the time because of the lack of knowledge, but when you ask yourself who did all the blacksmithing on the plantations, it was the slaves. If you could turn a wheel, you could make a barrel,” Quay said.

Read the full story in Thursday's Examiner.