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Re: Another Mystery Cadet Rifle
Posted by John S. on Friday, 12 August 2016, at 1:09 p.m., in response to Another Mystery Cadet Rifle, posted by Jim Mountain on Friday, 12 August 2016, at 9:21 a.m.
"Unit marks" are often from outside sources, not the U.S. Army, state militia or National Guard units, or strictly military schools.
In the late 19th and early 20th century there were military programs (predecessors of ROTC) at most land grant colleges, and many private schools.
"Boys' Brigades" similar to Scout groups were popular, with a distinctly military emphasis, sometimes affiliated with religious groups or fraternal organizations. "Military academies" for even grade schools were around.
Most Grand Army of the Republic (or United Confederate Veterans) Or United War Veterans of the Span Am War posts had color guards as well as military memorabilia at their drinking establishments/club houses. Fraternal organizations often participated in parades or ceremonies with quasi-military elements.
Theatrical prop houses had stores of obsolete arms for stage (and later motion picture or television) rentals.
Hunting camps had stocks of weapons as "loaners" for informal shooting or hunting use.
Based on the location in southern Maine, there was likely something with "McK" in the name in the general area, or perhaps in nearby New Hampshire or Vermont or even Massachusetts.
"McK" may be for William McKinley, a likely patriotic name choice following the assassination of the 25th President in 1901, at a time when surplus Cadet trapdoors might be entering the surplus market for any of the above uses. Try searching for "McKinley Guards," McKinley Cadets, McKinley veterans, McKinley College, McKinley High School, or similar between 1901 and 1920.
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