The G. A. Ruxton Memorial Museum and Traditional Shooting Palavar is the brainchild of two great friends, David Braun and Andy Ward. The misspelling is intentional (at least I think so) – spelling being a matter of personal preference in our early history.
David and Andy share a passion for the history of early America, westward expansion and traditional firearms. Over the years, this passion resulted in the accumulation of several original guns and modern made replicas. Some of these guns were acquired in very poor condition and they proceeded to restore them to working condition. Some of the current made guns failed the ‘authentic reproduction’ look and have been refitted with original hardware or furniture (or at least original looking) to bring them up to their standards.
They decided to share their collection and expertise with the various black powder shooting clubs they associate with. The result is the G. A. Ruxton Memorial Museum and Traditional Shooting Palavar.
Of course, muzzle loading guns aren’t complete without all the paraphernalia required to make them fire. Shooting bags, horns, powder measures, round ball, ball molds and an assortment of tools are also on display along with a variety of other accoutrements of the day.
In addition to firearms, Dave has accumulated or produced a number bows, arrows and associated items from different cultures. These are also on display and available for hands on exploration.
The G. A. Ruxton Memorial Museum and Traditional Shooting Palavar is a traveling museum. Andy and Dave pack up their collection and travel to various events so that people can view these guns, talk about them, handle them, and if circumstances allow, shoot them. Yes, you read correctly, handle and shoot them. They feel it isn’t enough to view history behind glass. Interaction is the best way to engage people and stimulate real interest.
Dave Braun originally comes from Joliet, IL. He teaches Science and Traditional Arts at Lummi Nation High School. He is also an accomplished artist with paintings ranging from small canvases to entire walls.
Andy Ward is originally from Cincinnati, OH. He is an Army veteran and is currently employed as a Special Education Para-Educator at Nooksack Valley High School where he combines his skills as a sergeant and standup comic. He is also an avid reader with a personal library of several hundred books – mostly history with small section of fiction.
Frank Principe is a retired engineer and fellow history buff. He officially joined Dave and Andy as the resident HBC authority in the spring of 2015.