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Old 12-19-2017, 09:47pm   #1
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Default My Great Uncle shot a Golden Eagle

while it was in the chicken coup after it killed a chicken and "tackled" a duck.

This happened on the third week of October in 1945. They were having Sunday dinner after church when they heard a racket. My Great Uncle Walt shot the Golden Eagle killing it with two shots of his 12 gauge shotgun.

They immediately called the PA Game Commission and were permitted to get it mounted.

The Golden Eagle resided in his house right inside the front door for over 50 years before he passed.

I've been the caretaker of it and after conferring with Uncle Walt's son, we decided to offer it to the Mennonite Heritage Center since it has a local connection.

I stopped in this afternoon and presented pictures of the mount, a microfilm copy of the Oct 25 , 1945 newspaper and one of the pictures of them holding it in front of the barn on the family homestead.

If they decline, it will go to the PA Game Commision.

It actually looks pretty good for a 72 year old mount.
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Old 12-19-2017, 09:59pm   #2
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Microfilm copy of the Oct 25,1945 issue of the Souderton Independent

Article is low center
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:02pm   #3
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Old 12-19-2017, 11:58pm   #4
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Not my favourite mount. I love the wings extended mounts placed high up in an open concept home. My buddy has a big snowy owl mounted like that and it's beautiful. But, they sure are dust and bug collectors.
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Old 12-20-2017, 09:06pm   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerrmudgeon View Post
Not my favourite mount. I love the wings extended mounts placed high up in an open concept home. My buddy has a big snowy owl mounted like that and it's beautiful. But, they sure are dust and bug collectors.
In 1945, that was the preferred stance for birds of prey. You didn't have "open concept" farm houses back then.
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:09pm   #6
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Cool

I stopped in yesterday to speak with Joel who is the Collection Manager at the Mennonite Heritage Center to see how things are going. He just needs to hear back from two other members but it looks like they will be accepting the Golden Eagle

The local historian who knew both my great uncles was told this story. ( My uncle did NOT shoot both eagles, that needs to be clarified thru the family )

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Here’s the story that John Ruth sent me about the eagle incident (he must have heard the story from Levi Landis). Attached is also the photo.



“Levi C. Landis recalled that as he was supplying a box of butter to a customer, even though rationing was on (he thought it was in 1944), they saw an eagle folding its wings in a swooping dive toward a drake below their house. The drake was too big for the eagle to carry off, so all they saw was a puff-cloud of white feathers. Then the eagle flew over to Levi’s Uncle Jake Alderfers, and was found in the chicken house tearing the heads off of chickens. So Jake’s son Walton shot it. Game Warden P. D. Gerhart came and demanded the eagle and a fine. Jake, however, dismissed him, saying that unless he was paid for the chickens, Gerhart could not have the eagle. Later Walton acknowledged to Levi that he had also shot the mate of the eagle, between the farms of neighbors Wellington Clemens and Russell Seese. Realizing that this was illegal, he said, “Ich hap ’n dapper begrabt” (I quickly buried it).”



-Joel
Picture , from left to right
Walton Alderfer, back Henry Landes, Thelma Alderfer and Wellington Alderfer.
Thelma was Walton's wife and that's her Dad behind the group
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:07pm   #7
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Update

Friday my wife Mary and I will be dropping off the Golden Eagle at the Mennonite Heritage Center in Harleysville, PA. My cousin Kent ( son of the shooter ) has donated $250 for a protective acrylic case to show the Golden Eagle.

Once they have the case, members of the Alderfer family will have an "official" presentation of the Golden Eagle to the MHC.

I have been the care taker of the Golden Eagle since Uncle Walt passed in 1993

Now folks will not only get to see the eagle, they will get some local history on the story.

slide show of the Golden Eagle taken with my Nikon D3400
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:46pm   #8
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Old 03-09-2018, 08:55am   #9
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Whoever mounted that bird did a helluva good job.
Good on ya for the donation.
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:01pm   #10
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Default The Eagle has landed

Mary and I took the Golden Eagle down to the Mennonite Heritage Center this afternoon.

Joel Alderfer and their curator were both mighty impressed with the mount.

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Old 03-10-2018, 10:11pm   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blademaker View Post
Whoever mounted that bird did a helluva good job.
Good on ya for the donation.
I sent an email to my cousin asking if he knew who did the mounting back in 1945.

It does look good, especially since it's over 70 years old
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:52pm   #12
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I got a voicemail from Joel Alderfer today. The golden eagle is in it's case and on public display

As soon as I can get down there, I will get pictures. As soon as we can gather the Alderfer side of the family, we will go over for pictures with it. ( My Grandmother was Walton's sister )
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:29am   #13
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Wow. That’s quite the story. Those things are yuge.
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:02am   #14
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HEHE, that BEAK on the Eagle is about the size of the whole bird my wife is tending to.....

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Old 05-16-2018, 07:46pm   #15
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good story
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