Originally published in Points West magazine in Fall 2011
Annie Oakley’s gold rifle pin
This diminutive gold rifle pin, measuring 2.75 inches, belonged to Annie Oakley. It is a replica of a Remington rifle and is engraved on the reverse: “PINEHURST ANNIE OAKLEY/3.23. ’18” and “10K” indicating its gold content. Pinehurst is a golf resort town in North Carolina where Annie and her husband, Frank Butler, spent seven winters beginning in 1915.
Annie performed shooting exhibitions and offered shooting and gun handling lessons to women guests at the Carolina, the hotel where they were employed. Built in 1895, it was and is the centerpiece of Pinehurst. The lessons were extremely popular with hundreds of women of all ages, from teenagers on up. Who wouldn’t want to take lessons from the most famous female sharpshooter in the world?
It is not known why she was given this medal but it is one of only a few of Oakley’s medals that still exist. During World War I, she had most of her silver and gold medals melted down to raise money for charity.
Gold rifle pin that belonged to Annie Oakley. Gift of Alan V. Jr. “Pete” and Melanie Lovelace. 1.69.2337