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Creating History

Did you know? In addition to the handcrafted items found on the Gettysburg Sentinels website, artisan Greg Allen crafts one-of-a-kind commissioned pieces.



One such piece was a sword holder for Phil LeBlanc of Londonderry, New Hampshire. A former Marine Corps corporal, Phil asked Greg to craft a piece on which to display his Marine Corps NCO sword and scabbard.


Phil, deputy fire chief for the Londonderry Fire Department, was moved by his first visit to Gettysburg a few years ago. “I found Gettysburg to be peaceful. For me, somebody who suffers from PTSD from serving in the military, I found being there almost therapeutic,” he remembers. “I found a calmness and a peace to being there. For me, it was very enlightening and spiritual in a way.”


Serendipitously, Greg utilized a piece of wood sourced from the Abraham Lincoln Witness Tree to fashion the sword holder; Phil is a student and proponent of Lincoln’s leadership style. “The thing that draws me to Abraham Lincoln is his ability to find the good or find positive attributes in everybody,” Phil explains. “The humility that Lincoln showed toward others was incredible, even after those people actively worked to get him fired or killed, he still saw value in them and utilize them for their strengths for the betterment of the country.”


Initially, Phil envisioned a more finished traditional sword rack, but he and Greg realized that doing so would take the specialness away from the piece.



Greg left the piece of sycamore with uneven edges to highlight the wood’s distressed character. Because the wood was diseased, Greg stabilized the wood with resin and cyanoacrylate glue, then planed it and applied polyurethane, resulting in a rustic yet stunning piece.


Originally, Phil thought the wood would show off his sword. But now, he says, it’s the other way around. The sword is secondary to the Lincoln Witness Tree wood on which it is displayed, he says.


“As somebody who likes history and learning about the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln, leaving it natural tells a better story,” says Phil. “The piece of wood is what tells the story.”


Interested in commissioning a one-of-a-kind piece with Greg Allen?


Greg welcomes the opportunity to discuss potential projects using wood repurposed from the battlefield or your own wood. Email greg@gettysburgsentinels.com today to get started!


“It’s a great process. Greg is an easy guy to work with; he does right by people.” –Phil LeBlanc



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