My Quest to Find Old Guns in Old Homes

My Quest to Find Old Guns in Old Homes

Known as “The Oldest House in St. Augustine,” the González-Alvarez House dates to 1723. It’s an impressive yet simple structure that blends its original Spanish architecture with English influences as it changed hands over the years.

My Quest to Find Old Guns in Old Homes

Being both an enthusiast of historic homes and antique arms, I had hoped to be able to combine both of my interests at this location. After all, a home with almost 300 years of history is bound to have at least one gun, right?

I wasn’t disappointed. I spotted a Model 1836 flintlock pistol (read my piece about the last flintlock pistol design adopted by the US military here), and a Civil War-era Smith carbine.

My Quest to Find Old Guns in Old Homes

What really caught my eye, though, was a Virginia Manufactory musket in its original flintlock condition (representative example at top; exact gun below this paragraph). Made in Richmond, VA, this particular .69-caliber musket was called a “2nd Model – 3rd Type Musket” and is based off of the Springfield Model 1812 musket. The 3rd type is the only variation from the Virginia Manufactory to feature a brass flashpan. All of the other models used an iron flashpan. Produced from 1818 to 1822, this 1818-dated example is from the first year of production.

The Manufactory made two pistol models, two musket models, and two rifle models between 1801 and 1821. It was reopened 39 years later and produced arms for the Confederacy during the Civil War.

My Quest to Find Old Guns in Old Homes

How this musket made its way to St. Augustine, FL, is anybody’s guess, but I’m sure glad it did. You don’t see a ton of these arms floating around, and I certainly wasn’t expecting to see one in this house museum.

If you find yourself in the area, be sure to visit. The house is really cool and the locally-operated museum is well-done.

To wrap up, arms from this Richmond-based operation are highly collectible. Based on the condition of this piece, I’d put the value around $5,000.

Logan Metesh is a firearms historian and consultant who runs High Caliber History LLC. Click here for a free 3-page download with tips about caring for your antique and collectible firearms.


  1. avatar Bloving says:

    Never pass up an opportunity to help a widow clean out an old house or demolish an old barn! You never know what treasures you might get a deal on!

  2. avatar former water walker says:

    Yep. Old antique dealer here. I try not to screw little old ladies(or men).

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      “I try not to screw little old ladies…”

      But, what if they’re very lonely, and quite insistent? 😉

  3. avatar LarryinTX says:

    Damn. That gun looks like it was built yesterday. And I assume it was not restored in any way.

  4. avatar Samuel A Madsen says:

    The flintlocks are very cool, but the Civil War carbine in the lower photo is a Burnside.

  5. avatar frankw says:

    The last photo is, in fact, a Burnside breechloading carbine. I inherited one from my great-grand father which he carried in the War of Southern Rebellion. Shot it many times and was surprised at its accuracy within a hundred meters. .54 cal. 300gr. Minie ball. Those heavy slugs could inflict some terrible damage.

  6. avatar RedRed says:

    St. Augustine is a beautiful town. Was privileged to live there for a year and hope to get back. The Spanish fort downtown is a must see, as is the free boat ride to Fort Matanzas, down the road a bit from St. Augustine.

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