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    19th Century Revolver Found in Old Sewer by City Hall


    Revolver likely dating to 1800s.

    A revolver likely dating back to the 1800s was found in an old sewer next to Cincinnati City Hall on May 11, 2021 by MSD workers. The crews, part of MSD's Wastewater Collection (WWC) division, were working on 9th Street in downtown Cincinnati.

    The sewer line was originally located in Craven Alley, as identified by a turn-of-the-century sewer map. The City of Cincinnati broke ground on City Hall in 1888 in this location, eliminating the alley.

    The portion of the sewer line under City Hall was abandoned either before construction started or after its completion in 1893. The revolver was found encased in a concrete bulkhead (or plug) at the end of the abandoned line. Interestingly, the sewer line is under the portion of City Hall that used to be a jail.

    We may never know how this gun – thought to be a Marlin XXX Standard 1872 Single Action Pocket revolver – made its way into the sewer, but it sure is fun to conjecture a story. Kudos to WWC employees Matt Bernius, Christian Courtney, and Sean Harvey for bringing the revolver to light.

    MSD plans to showcase the gun for display. Anyone with knowledge or interest in 19th century guns is encouraged to contact Deb Leonard at (513) 557-7095 or deb.leonard@cincinnati-oh.gov.

    Turn of the Century Sewer Map

    This map likely dates from 1912-1915 when the City of Cincinnati undertook a massive survey of its underground sewer infrastructure under Boss Cox.

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