The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Columns

February 23, 2013

Firearms manufacturing created Ilion in the 19th century

One can only wonder what the late Eliphalet Remington and son might be thinking these days, about five states courting the Remington Arms Co. Inc. plant in Ilion to relocate to more “gun-friendly” states. 

The efforts have been under way since the passage of the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement, or SAFE Act, in January. If Remington stays, it will mark its bicentennial in Ilion in 2016, having employed thousands from northern Otsego County and the Mohawk Valley throughout its history.

Remington and his wife, Elizabeth Kilbourne, were among the many people who headed west from New England after the Revolutionary War. The Remingtons left Connecticut in 1800, finding some acreage to their liking in the hills just south of Ilion. Eliphalet built a forge and blacksmith shop to help in making his own farm equipment.

Among the Remington family was Eliphalet Jr., who was age 23 in 1816. He wanted a rifle for hunting, but one was quite expensive. His father offered him the use of the forge to make one of his own. Young Eliphalet collected enough scrap metal until he could shape a thick, oblong sheet of metal around a rod. He then lap-welded the edges, removed the rod and had the first Remington barrel. With help from a Utica gunsmith, the firearm became ready for use.

Young Eliphalet obviously had some skill in forging, as neighboring farmers soon wanted similar rifles. The Remington’s forge in Ilion Gulph became a shop for making not only guns, but also a variety of farm tools. Orders for Remington’s guns were so good that once the Erie Canal was dug through the valley in 1821, they could be shipped and sold in remote areas.

Remington’s forge was a bit remote from the Erie Canal, a four-mile journey. By 1828, Eliphalet saw the need to be closer to sources of transportation. With financial assistance, Remington bought 100 acres south of the present East Main Street and east of Otsego Street, and built his first armory.

Text Only
Big Chuck D'Imperio
Cary Brunswick

Chuck Pinkey
Guest Column
Lisa Miller

Mark Simonson

Rick Brockway
Sam Pollak
William Masters
  • Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues

    As the time to vote draws near, we need to remember how money can run politics more than we can. Raising funds is a prominent (if not the dominant) task of getting elected. Raising issues is also crucial, but those efforts are subject to distortion and fear-mongering.

    September 18, 2012

  • Republicans feelentitled to allthey can garner

    An entitlement is a legal benefit available from the government to individuals who are within a defined category of recipients, such as needing insurance for unemployment or health services.

    September 4, 2012

  • Romney focuses on self; Obama emphasizes unity

    Mitt Romney criticizes President Obama for saying a person's success is rooted in his community, and is not all his alone. Romney belittles this with his belief in individual initiative. He is better at the put-down than the push-up.

    August 21, 2012

  • Romney shows little regard for common man

    The Republicans in Congress have voted over and over, 33 times, redundantly and uselessly, to rescind what they call Obamacare.

    August 7, 2012

  • Scouts' gay ban creates problem where none exists

    The Boy Scouts of America's "emphatic reaffirmation" of its vow to exclude any and all homosexuals from its hallowed ranks is ill-considered and pathetic, especially in view of its having reviewed the matter for two years.

    July 24, 2012

Additional Content
Join the Debate
Helium
Additional Resources
CNHI News Service
Poll

Are you more or less religious than your parents?

More religious
Less religious
About the same
     View Results