The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy experienced this very phenomenon in 2013 when it stumbled upon two Civil War cannons in a field near the South Park lift bridge.
“When they were discovered we immediately thought about being able to restore them and return them to Front Park where we knew they had been from the photographs we have,” said Tony James, park architect for the conservancy.
The two cannons, known as Parrott Rifles, were originally part of a set of six located at Front Park. A photograph in the conservancy’s archives dates the cannons to the park before 1897.
After their re-discovery in the fall of 2013, the two surviving cannons were shipped to Cannons Online in New Windsor, Md., and were restored to their original condition.
The base that holds and transports the cannons, known as the carriage, had to be fabricated by Steen Cannons in Ashland, Ky., since they did not survive the years.
Both the cannons and carriages remain in storage locations, awaiting good weather.
“We have poured new concrete foundations for them ,” said James. “We do not have a particular date in mind, but they will be celebrated with a dedication sometime in the near future.”
According to an April 1938 article from the Buffalo News, the cannons were sold for scrap money during an auction held by the Buffalo Common Council. The council deemed the cannons, along with 200 cannonballs, “junk”, and sold the relics to nine different metal companies throughout the city.
The cannons, which weighed 6,700 pounds each, were sold at $7 a ton, the cannonballs at $9 a ton. By Sean Brock and Ally Rotundo