Old gun found in Chinatown

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http://www.canada.com/victoriatimes...=9235bdf2-e8d6-46ed-b5da-76e6afcdc307&k=81035
Old gun found in Chinatown wrapped in news of the day
"Gambler's gun" found in 1918 newspaper
Rob Shaw, Times Colonist
Published: Wednesday, December 05, 2007
The headline on The Daily Colonist that day in 1918 screamed: "Over Ten Thousand Prisoners Captured" and detailed a surprise Allied attack against German forces in the First World War. But the real story for readers today is what someone in Victoria's Chinatown decide to wrap inside the Aug. 9 edition.

A gun. More precisely, a 32-calibre, five-shot, Iver Johnson "Saturday night special" -- the kind of small arm known back then as a gambler's gun. It came tumbling out of its Colonist wrappings onto the desk of Alison Trembath a little over a month ago.

As the new owner of Dales Art Gallery at 537 Fisgard St., in Chinatown, she'd decided to do some renovations to the historic building's first-floor ceiling. It was there she found a carefully hidden piece of history.

A worker noticed the package above some wooden ceiling tiles. "I started unwrapping it going, 'What's this?,'" said Trembath. "And there it was, this remarkable gun. I had just finished a month and a half of restorations here, so it was very exciting finding such a nefarious gun. I don't see many guns in my life."

The gun was not alone. There were Chinese business ledgers from an era when gambling parlours and opium dens were a fixture in Victoria's downtown core. Although, to be fair, the business at the time was registered as a grocery store called Wing On Cheong and there's no indication it had any sort of criminal ties.

Trembath called Victoria police.

"It's an interesting historical find for Chinatown," said Const. Rick Anthony, an officer with a strong historical interest who examined the item with the department's history expert, Sgt. Jonathan Sheldan.

"People in that day and age were hidey-holing guns away and who knows what else is stored in the attics and behind the walls of these buildings down here in Chinatown."

A gun stowed away in a ceiling with some business documents is a suspicious find, no matter what the year. It may have been hidden for "quick access" by its owner, said Anthony. "The fact the ledgers were found with it sort of speaks to it as a secret hiding place for somebody, for some reason."

Police did try to research who might have owned the gun, and see if it was involved in any criminal activity.

"But going that far back, it is very difficult to trace it or track it," said Anthony, a history buff who travelled to Europe this year with Det. Lawrence Hemstad to research Victoria police officers who died during the First World War.

"We have done some looking into [the gun]. It doesn't come back with any history. It hasn't been involved in any crimes. We actually believe it has been up there the whole 80 to 90 years, maybe even longer than that."

Trembath, who renovated and reopened the gallery two weeks ago, also found an ancient letter behind drywall near an old window. The letter, in Chinese, is about family gossip, she said. Trembath said she plans to ask the Chinatown community for help interpreting the finds and determining their cultural importance.

Meanwhile, Anthony said he's having the gamblers gun put through the proper national channels to, perhaps, one day give it back to Trembath.

"This is a framing studio, so I think I'd put it in a shadow box and frame it up," said Trembath. "I'd probably put it in the window because it is a big nod to that time."

And she said she plans to keep renovating the building and see what else she finds.

"We have a workshop above this bulkhead and we haven't yet torn that apart. So who knows what we'll find."

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N.E. CHARTERS

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WOW!

Up until now; I was unaware that the Saterday Night Special had been made until the late 1970's early 1980s. Just about the time that they made "Saterday Night Fever"

So I just you learn something every day. Even if you do have to change the facts in history to make it "True"???






nefarious gun? Just what the hell does nefarious mean?
 
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Up until now; I was unaware that the Saterday Night Special had been made until the late 1970's early 1980s. Just about the time that they made "Saterday Night Fever"

So I just you learn something every day. Even if you do have to change the facts in history to make it "True"???






nefarious gun? Just what the hell does nefarious mean?
Someone or something that is infamous for being wicked.[smile]
 

ScottS

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Of course, it couldn't be a P-08, or an Colt SAA, or a Broomhandle Mauser. No, it had to be an Iver Johnson revolver. I might have turn it in, too, just to be rid of it.
 

N.E. CHARTERS

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Pilgram. your not in Kanzas anymore

Because it Canada and its the socialist thing to do. Canidiens can not own evil pistols and long ares are controled by the Gummint.



Dont worry Mass will be just like that soon. Kalifornia is very close.

 

Garys

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Why? If I owned the property and it was in the house, it's mine. Why turn it in? Particularly if it's obvious it's been there for 90 years.
Because they are GFWs.

I wonder if they locked down all of Canada when this was discovered?

Gary
 

bfm

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Actually, having spent a lot of time this past year working in the Atlantic Provinces of Canada I can say that gun ownership including handguns is alive and well (at least in those areas). Went shooting with a local employee there who had two 1911s that I could not have bought here in MA. His long guns were all fixed magazine types used for hunting, but all were quite nice.
 
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Meanwhile, Anthony said he's having the gamblers gun put through the proper national channels to, perhaps, one day give it back to Trembath.
More than I think would happen in MA.
 

GSG

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I'm willing to bet if that gun was found in Chinatown in Boston the owner would be sitting on a criminal charge.
 
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Jose

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My next step after finding something like that is to go buy ammo for it (if I don't already have some).
 
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