8th Annual RSA Historical Seminar Remington Fireams Plant, Ilion, New York

A panoramic view of Remington's Factory in Ilion New York

On July 17th, RSA members traveled to a small village about an hours drive east of Syracuse. They came to Ilion, New York — the home of Remington firearms since 1816 — to attend the 8th Annual RSA Seminar. And what an affair it was…

The attendees were welcomed by Remington Manager of Consumer Affairs Dennis Sanita, by RSA President Leon Wier, and Seminar Coordinator Richard Shepler. And yes, there were historical lectures, including:

  • Remington Double Guns, by author Charlie Semmer.

  • Ilion’s Other Gunmakers, by noted New York State gunsmith authority Jerry Swinney.

  • Remington-Parkers – the True Story, by Kevin McCormack.
  • Remington Slide-Action and Autoloading Rifles, by author Gene Myszkowski.
  • Changes in Remington Model 700 Rifles, by author John Lacy.
  • The Serial Number Controversy in Remington Vest Pocket Pistols, by author Bob Hatfield.
  • Variations in the Model 870 Shotgun, by RSA VP Jack Heath.

VPs came from Remington Headquarters in Madison, North Carolina to address the attendees,

  • Jay Bunting, VP of Sales, Marketing and Product Development.

    Jay spoke about What’s New At America’s Oldest Gunmaker.

  • Art Wheaton, Special Advisor to the President (and recently retired VP of Marketing & Sales).

    Art addressed the RSA Board of Directors, and later was the speaker at the seminar banquet.

  • San Grecco, VP of E-Commerce, spoke about Remington’s magnificent web site.
  • Paul Cahan, VP of Firearms and Ammunition Manufacturing, who was our host during the three day affair.

Many attendees brought outstanding displays to Ilion, to set up in the Remington Museum for the “Open House”.
Your Remington Society promised the Village of Ilion that we would participate in “Ilion Days”, the celebration
of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the village. These exhibits featured rare and desirable Remington
firearms and other memorabilia, including those by:

  • Dr. Karl and Linda Spyridon — Patent Models and Rare Firearms of Joseph Rider.
  • Gordon Fosburg — Remington Advertising of the Early 20th Century.
  • Larry and Tammie Moody — E. Remington & Sons’ Pistols.
  • Bob Hatfield — Remington Vest Pocket Pistols.
  • J.D. Hofer — Percussion Pistols of E. Remington & Sons.
  • Charlie Semmer — Remington Double Guns.

The Open House was held from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Thursday, and many hundreds of visitors came
to the Remington Museum to talk guns and history with the true experts — RSA collectors. T
he Governor of the State of New York sent a representative, and local TV station Channel 8 sent
a crew to film the “Open House” for the “Eleven O’clock News”. An 8-minute news clip featured
RSA members Larry Moody, Mark Eddy, Bob Hatfield and Roy Marcot. The clip was quite favorable
to the Remington company, to the collecting of historical arms, and to the Remington Society for
preserving the history of the Mohawk Valley.

On Friday, the guys were treated to in-depth tours of the Remington Custom Shop and the shotgun
and rifle production areas. The ladies traveled to Barringer Road, where Jerry Swinney conducted
a historical tour of the Remington Homestead – where Eliphalet II grew up. We are indebted to
Carol Perrone, who permitted a walking tour of her house — much unchanged since it was built in
the early 1800s. Then the group drove up the Gorge to the site of the original Remington Forge,
where young Eliphalet built his first rifle barrel in 1816. And lastly, the ladies were treated
to a tour of the Herkimer County Historical Society by Director Sue Perkins.

This seminar was planned by Jay and Hannelore Huber, who have coordinated every RSA Seminar since
the first one was held in Ilion, New York in 1994. It was most unfortunate that the Hubers were
unable to attend, as Jay was sidelined fighting a serious illness. He passed the baton to Richard
and Janice Shepler, who did a bang-up job in running this one. Get well soon, Jay!

The 8th Annual RSA Seminar was also the most well-attended, with nearly 60 RSA members coming from
all parts of the United States, including Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Michigan,
Ohio, Missouri, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, New Hampshire,
and Maine. Everyone, it seems, was sorry to see the festivities end on Friday night. But RSA President
soothed the crowd by informing them that the 9th Annual RSA Seminar was scheduled for Cody, Wyoming
in the summer of 2003.