Destination Gun: Visiting Annie Oakley's Grave
Destination Gun: Traveling to Firearms-Related Sites Around the World
In this series, I will share destinations I've visited that relate to firearms. Look around - these sites are everywhere!
Annie Oakley is a legend. There has been so much written about her life that I won't attempt to add further at this point. However I can share about her death, or at least about her grave, which I visited in 2011 after I moved to Cincinnati, Ohio.
Annie Oakley was born as Phoebe Ann Mosey in small-town Ohio, between Dayton and Toledo. When a friend wanted to go visit her granddad and invited me along, we embarked on a road trip from Cincinnati to Paulding, Ohio. Traveling north on Route 127 we mostly saw farmland punctuated by small towns and gas stops. There is a beauty in the Midwest landscape, and I enjoyed the scenery, even if it was a little monotonous. Just past Dayton's suburbs, we encountered a sign interrupting the bucolic views. The letter practically jumped off the sheet metal: Annie Oakley's gravesite.
Since I'm a female target shooter and she's THE female target shooter, I demanded we stop to pay homage. She is buried in the Brock cemetery near Greenville, Ohio. Her grave is not ostentatious, and really seems very humble in relation to the magnitude of her legend. The lady who traveled the world demonstrating her trick shooting to crowds and kings is buried under a simple headstone in a small town's cemetery. If you didn't see the historical marker next to her grave, you might completely miss it.
I happened to be wearing my MIT Rifle gear and I even had some targets in my backpack that I shot at practice the week prior. It all seemed to "fit". We read the historical marker and headstone in silence. After snapping a photo, I left one of my bullseye ("10.9") targets on her grave in lieu of flowers. I'm thankful for the legacy she left when she opened the door for women in the shooting sports. If you find yourself in the western half of Ohio, it is worth a trip to see where Little Sure Shot rests in peace.