LARNED — The practice of firing an anvil into the air with gunpowder is a favorite at the Santa Fe Trail Tired Iron Show.
For anvil shooting the best part of the tradition is a huge Ka-bloom made with a base anvil (used by blacksmiths) weighing 126 pounds, a “shooters anvil” weighing 104 pounds, a half pound of black gunpowder, and a high tech sealant — peanut butter!
A fuse is lit and the flyer rockets more than 150 feet into the air, accompanied by a thunderous smoky blast of the black powder.
Larry and Melody Freeman are the demonstrators. These enthusiasts have taken this family tradition to area and national championships. Spectators view from outside 150 feet of open area. This is a controlled shoot with the anvil landing within 6 – 10 feet of the blast. Afterward everyone is invited to inspect the anvils and visit with the team.
The Freemans graciously allow special guests to light the fuse occasionally. A special guest representing Great Bend Farm Equipment will be given this honor. Others will be Miss Fort Larned, Jansyn VanHorn and our newest major event sponsors.
Anvil shooting was an important way to communicate in colonial America during times of crises or to call a town meeting.
This history will be demonstrated during the Santa Fe Trail Tired Iron Show at the Santa Fe Trail Center Museum Oct. 12-13. The scheduled shoots are 9:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m Oct. 12; 10 a.m. 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Oct. 13.
The Santa Fe Trail Center Museum is two miles west of Larned on K-156. For information, call 620-285-2054; or visit www.santafetrailcenter.org.
The Anvil Shooting at the Santa Fe Trail Tired Iron Show is being sponsored by Great Bend Farm Equipment. The generosity of Les and Carol Hopkins is greatly appreciated.