Turnbull Manufacturing Company had an opportunity recently to embellish a TMC Open Range Revolver for James D. Julia, Inc. The end result was a faithful reproduction of the Meldrum Colt which will be for display at a regional historical museum.
The beginning stages of this project started after the conclusion of the March 2010 James Julia Auction.
The highlight of the auctioned Colts was the fabulous and gold inlaid single action inscribed “From The Tomboy Gold Mine Co. Lt’d / Telluride Colo to Rob’t. D. Meldrum.” Meldrum spend much of his life as a deputy sheriff, but also worked for the Pinkertons as a guard and as a covert Pinkerton operator while in the employ of the Tomboy Gold Mine Co. He also worked for the Colorado Cattleman’s Association and like his good friend Tom Horn, was essentially a hired gun. He was a small man of only 140 pounds, but hard as nails, with a mean streak. He is purported to have killed over 14 men in his lifetime, most in the line of duty (two were unarmed).
Around the turn of the century, The Tomboy Mining Company was having a great problem with organizers who were attempting to get the miners to go on strike. It’s not known what Meldrum did for the Tomboy Mining Company, but one thing is for sure, they were exceedingly grateful. Because of the cost, only 16 Colt revolvers were ever produced with gold inlay. Only two of these were inscribed and presented, and this was one of them. This lavish gun was certainly payment for some very valuable service. The pistol had an intriguing history. Not only was the former nefarious owner historically significant, but the guns most recent provenance was also quite intriguing. A considerable amount of interest was expressed in the piece, and it finally sold at the auction for $258,750.