An oxen gunpowder container made in 1757 and stolen more than 60 years ago from a Detroit-area museum has been returned.
The FBI turned the Nowlin Powder Horn over to the Dearborn Historical Museum, after the authorities tracked down the powder horn to an estate auction in Pennsylvania.
It is not known who originally took the artefact in 1952 and the most recent owner may not have been aware that it was stolen. The powder horn was sold for about $13,000 at auction in 1991 to an unknown buyer.
The powder horn was made in Charlestown, New Hampshire, for Lt. Abel Prindel during the French and Indian War, according to the Detroit Historical Society. Prindel’s name, rank, the date of its making and a verse from a poem are engraved on the horn. Part of the poem can be seen in the photograph.
It later came into the possession of John Nowlin, an early settler of what is now Dearborn, just southwest of Detroit. The Nowlin family traveled in 1833 to Detroit from their homestead in New York. The horn was handed down through generations of the Nowlin family and sold in 1947 for $75 to the Detroit Historical Museum. The Detroit Historical Society operates that museum and loaned it to the Dearborn museum for inclusion in an exhibit called “Saga of a Settler.”