LOCATION: Main Street

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Family Friendly – Gunsmith Shop Wheelchair Accessible

Browning Home and Gunsmith Shop by Kenneth Mays

Jonathan Browning was trained as a blacksmith and apprenticed as a gunsmith at the age of nineteen. He was offered a partnership by his teacher, Samuel Porter, but returned instead to his hometown of Brushy Fork, Tennessee, where he started his own business and married Elizabeth Stalcup. In 1834 he and his family joined his brother in Quincy, Illinois. Here, they learned of the Joseph Smith and the city he was building. They traveled up the Mississippi River to meet this man and learn of the new religion. They were converted and baptized in 1840, and moved to Nauvoo in 1842. Jonathan purchased this home from James Freeman Bird and set up his gunsmithing business. When the Latter-day Saints left Nauvoo in 1846, the Brownings traveled as far as Winter Quarters, where they remained until 1852, assisting thousands of pioneers on their journey west.

Jonathan Browning became interested in the manufacture of firearms after he traded a day's work for a broken rifle

The name of Browning has become synonymous with fine firearms. Jonathan invented one of the first repeating rifles and his descendants revolutionized the art of gunsmithing by inventing automatic shotguns, rifles and machine guns. Gunsmithing became a family tradition.

In this shop, you’ll see a fine display of firearms made by Jonathan and his descendants.


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