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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Stanly Ranch - Part 6

The Flanagan Family has handed down a Winchester Repeater over the years.  It is the third or fourth model that Winchester made in the 1800s from what I understand.  At the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, you can view every model of the repeater made.  I guess I can say that I have viewed two of this model - The Winchester's museum model and the Flanagan's rifle which is still in very good condition.

So the story goes, the Judge gave the firearm to Michael Flanagan.  Why did the Judge transfer ownership to Michael?  Apparently the Judge's son was killed with the rifle in a firearm incident.  It was not suicide.  After this occurred, the Judge wanted nothing to do with the rifle and gave it to Michael Flanagan.  I can't seem to find anything about the Judge's son's death.  There must be a biography out there.  This could not possibly be a family deep dark secret, could it?  You never know.

Michael Flanagan left several possessions behind when he left Napa to return to Ireland.  Patrick and Kate Flanagan retrieved some of these possession on behalf of Michael from their neighbor, Judge Stanly.  Since Michael never returned from Ireland, he never got his possessions.  I'm not sure the extent of the personal affects but am assuming that the rifle was one.  The rifle made its home for years at the Flanagan Ranch House in Carneros.  I'm not even sure that the Flanagan's used the firearm.  It was left in the possession of my great-grandfather, Jack Flanagan, who in turn gave it to his son and my grandfather, Richard J. Flanagan.  They were probably the two most appropriate choices as they were the hunters in the family.  I'll continue to keep my eye out for more information about this incident.

As promised in another post about the Stanly Ranch, I am revealing who moved the Stanly Ranch house.  It was Merryvale but they own Starmont.  Starmont is located on the old Stanly Ranch at the end of Stanly Lane.  It's not open to the public though so I guess I'll be visiting the Merryvale location in St. Helena instead for a taste of vino.

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