Today’s Blast From the Past is a Hawken rifle. We think of the rifles made by Jacob and Samuel Hawken in their St. Louis shop from the 1820s to the 1850s as working guns for explorers and mountain men—and they were—but the Hawkens could make high-grade guns, too. This one is one of the most ornate ever made. Its owner was not a mountain man, but a steamboat captain named George Atchison. After serving in the Army during the Blackhawk War (1830–32), Atchison became a captain and a boat builder. Evidently he did well for himself in a short time, because he was able to have this rifle made in 1836, although he was also known for building a number of boats that blew up and/or sank.