Lepley Antique Rifle Parts & Gunsmith Tools (Index)

Introduction
My uncle Alvin Korns purchased an old bucket full of antique gunsmithing hardware for muzzle loading rifles, and gave the hardware to me shortly before he died. The artifacts (overview photos above) were found in one of the buildings of the Alonza "Lonz" Lepley farm in Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA. The hardware was purchased circa 1974 at the Alonza Lepley estate auction. Photographs of the individual items are indexed below. The photos were updated on December 26, 2019 to improve photo quality. The Lepley family was one of two families that I know of that made muzzle loaders in Southampton Township; the other family was the Troutmans. Both families sired multiple generations of gunsmiths. Click here to read about the Lepley family of gunsmiths.

Alonza Lepley's farm was adjacent to the farm that until recently was the site of the large old Lepley stone house; i.e. adjacent to the farm that is associated with the Lepley gunsmiths in local tradition. Since the old Lepley family cemetery is located on what was Alonza's farm, I have long-suspected that his farm and the farm with the stone house were originally part of a single, larger farm. Volume one, page 87 of the 2005 book "A Look At Southampton Township Pennsylvania The Way It Used To Be!" indicates that Adam Lepley III divided the farm among three children: Simon who eventually gave his portion (across the road from the stone house) to his son Elmer, Samuel who eventually gave his portion to his son Alonza, and Effie who owned the portion with the stone house, married William Kennell, and had eleven children. The Pennsylvania long rifle gunsmithing hardware that was found on Alonza Lepley's farm is quite naturally attributed to the several generations of Lepley gunsmiths of Southampton township. The approximate site of the most recent Lepley gunsmith shop (now gone), which was in front of the stone house, is Latitude 39.75758100737703, Longitude -78.81904810667038. The approximate site of the Lepley stone house (now gone) is Latitude 39.75765317620321, Longitude -78.81904810667038. The approximate site of Alonza Lepley's house (now gone) is Latitude 39.75312495137337, Longitude -78.82282197475433. The location of the Lepley cemetery is Latitude 39.75433539399369, Longitude -78.82348716259002.

There were at least three Lepley gunsmiths in Southampton Township, and possibly more. A reliable Lepley family tradition tells of a Southampton Township Lepley gunsmith who was still in business in the early twentieth century. The family also produced at least two Ohio-born gunsmiths. To read biographical information about the Lepley gunsmiths, click here.

For a description of how the old time gunsmiths made and repaired muzzle-loading long rifles, see the well-illustrated book "The Muzzle-Loading Cap Lock Rifle" by Ned. H. Roberts of .257 Roberts fame (The Granite State Press, Manchester, New Hampshire, 1940).

Additional Lepley gunsmithing information sought
Please e-mail me if you have additional information on the Lepley gunsmiths and their rifles. I am particularly interested in obtaining photographs of actual positively identified Lepley rifles for this website. I am also interested in obtaining photos of firearms made by the Troutmans and other Somerset County gunsmiths.

L. Dietle
Arnold, Maryland

Photos of Lepley Gunsmithing Tools:
Overview photo of Lepley gunsmithing tools
Hand forged, spring-loaded sprue cutter
Carved deer antler-what was it for?
Vee-shaped wood chisel
Leather-working fork
Wooden-handled carving tool
Nose cap forming tool
Half of a small caliber, round ball bullet mold
Hand-forged wrench
A pair of leather punches
Large homemade tap and die
Small homemade tap and die
Brass sheet material

Photos of Lepley Rifle Parts:
Rifle parts overview photo
Patch box with round door
Patch boxes with oval door
Rifle inlay
Engraved rifle medallion
Muzzle-loader breech plug
Buttplates
Ramrod ferrule
Box of percussion nipples
Trigger guards
Misc. hammer cocks
Forearm nose caps
Lock springs
Rifle stock toe plate
Broken trigger guards
Musket flint
Escutcheon
Take-off Flintlock hammer
Patchbox fragment?

Photos of other items found with gunsmithing tools:
A sugar water tap
Brace-driven tool, possibly not for gunsmithing

Return to Lepley stone house page
Return to Bedford & Somerset County Gunsmith Index
Return to the Korns family genealogy home page