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This 1870s Double-Barrel Shotgun is Shrouded in Mystery

Michael G. Seamens/Morning Sentinel

Much speculation surrounds this 1870s sawed-off shotgun. Some say it may have been used in criminal activities.

One thing is for certain, Bill Lessard, made one amazing discovery back in 1970. Lessard stumbled upon the weapon when he was 18 years old while doing construction on the former C.F. Hathaway Co. shirt factory.

“When I dug it up, I wasn’t sure what it was. I thought it was a chunk of steel of something,” Lessard said. “It took me a while to clean it before I realized it was a sawed-off shotgun.”

One of the cool aspects of this entire story is that Lessard was interviewed back in 1970 by the Morning Sentinel and has hung on to his unique find ever since. The original report by the Morning Star asserted that since the stock seemed to have been sawed off, it was most likely used as a handgun.

Photo By: Michael G. Seamens

After a short discussion with his son, Lessard decided to donate the gun to the Remington Museum in Waterville.

Bryan Finnemore, resident caretaker for the Redington Museum, reported that the make and model of the gun isn’t clear and very little is known about the gun’s history.

Finnemore went on to speculate that it may have been used to commit a crime, and was then stashed in its hiding place shortly after.

Lessard explained that he had hoped for someone to come forward with any helpful information related to the history of the firearm after his interview back in 1970.

By returning the antique weapon to the town where he found it, Lessard hopes that its history may finally be uncovered.



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This 1870s Double-Barrel Shotgun is Shrouded in Mystery