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I have a reputation for liking the unusual. That’s why a Corrie Tour around town often includes a church built with poker winnings, the grave of a guy called “Liver Eating” and a collection of Sears Roebuck mail order houses.

When I heard a few years ago that someone was starting a museum comprised of guns found everywhere from farmers’ field to battlefields I welcomed it with, well, open arms.

The Cody Dug Up Gun Museum is located on 12 th Street next to the Chamberlin Inn in downtown Cody and features more than 1,000 relic guns and other weapons. Owners Hans and Eva Kurth have collected guns found throughout the country and from many different time periods including the American Revolution, the Gold Rush Era, The United States Civil War, the Old West and Indian Wars, World War I, The Roaring ‘20s and World War II.

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This flintlock pistol, circa 1770, appears to have been burned in a fire.

This free museum – donations are accepted – is one of my favorite combinations of serious and whimsical with truly fascinating stories – many of them untold – of lost and found. I wonder how that Remington Model 1858 .44 ended up buried still partially loaded. How about the rifle that was propped in between tree branches and left behind? As the tree grew the gun ended up higher and higher off the ground. What was the story behind that 1770 Flintlock Pistol?

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This Colt revolver was manufactured in 1878 and found near Rapid City, South Dakota.

I know many people who do not own guns and will tell you they really aren’t interested, but I have taken so many of those same people to the Dug Up Gun Museum where they find themselves enthralled with the history, the engineering and the mystery. This collection helps me to understand what life was like here in the West at a time when everyone – even the clergy – carried a firearm to protect themselves and to provide food for their tables.

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In addition to dug up guns, the museum features antique rifles that it buys and sells.

This museum is obviously a labor of love, and it’s easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm. I always leave a donation, even if I stop by for a quick visit. The museum also accepts found guns. The Cody Dug Up Gun Museum is open every day May through September.

Until next week, I am lovin’ life – and searching for the next offbeat attraction – in Cody, Wyo.