Remember When, Chattanooga? Pistol-packing collector pictured at Hotel Patten

Chattanooga News-Free Press photo via Darlene Peavy is shown with two of her pistols at the Smoky Mountain Gun Collectors Association show at the Hotel Patten in December 1964.

The year was 1964, and more than 100 exhibitors had packed the Hotel Patten in downtown Chattanooga for one of the city's biggest gun shows.

The accompanying photo, part of a collection of vintage images curated by the website, shows gun collector Darlene Peavy, who was described in a newspaper article as one of the few female exhibitors at the show that year.

A caption with the photo, which was published in the Chattanooga News-Free Press on Dec. 5, 1964, notes Peavy "is shown with two pieces from her pistol collection, a flintlock and lady-like derringer."

According to the, a flintlock is an "ignition system for firearms developed in the early 16th century," which involves a striker hitting a flint which, in turn, showers sparks onto gun powder.

A derringer is a "pocket pistol produced in the early 19th century by Henry Deringer, a Philadelphia gunsmith," according to the website.

In a related article, Chattanooga News-Free Press reporter Richard Cooke notes the two-day gun show was sponsored by the Smoky Mountain Gun Collectors Association and featured more than 200 tables "with pistols, rifles, edged weapons and related items such as shell-filling equipment and weapon parts and accessories."

Exhibits at the show included Civil War-era weapons as well as German and Japanese guns, according to the newspaper report.

Officials of the show said it was designed in part to "promote ethical practices among gun owners and those who sell guns in order to prevent 'anti-gun panics.'"

One of the collections featured at the show was a selection of Winchester rifles owned by Jim Fowler of Nashville. The collection included many Civil War-era weapons, the newspaper reported.

Launched by history enthusiast Sam Hall in 2014, is maintained to present historical images in the highest resolution available. If you have photo negatives, glass plate negatives or original nondigital prints taken in the Chattanooga area, contact Sam Hall for information on how they may qualify to be digitized and preserved at no charge.

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"Remember When, Chattanooga?" publishes on Saturdays. Contact Mark Kennedy at or 423-757-6645.