Memorial Cannon Moved

Memorial Cannon is Being Moved Today

W.H. Ellis is moving the Columbiad Cannon from the railroad to its place on the court house grounds today. This no inconsiderable task as the big gun weighs 15,535 pounds. It was made in 1854. Parrott brothers will commence Monday the work of constructing the concrete base for the gun. This will be five feet in height. Both concerns are performing these services without charge.

From the Pearl Jones files located at the Baker County Library, Baker City,
Source: Baker Herald September 29, 1911 Page 1
Contributed by Gary Jaensch

Cannon and Boy with Boot in Courthouse Yard

From information located in book the "History of Baker County Government" it is noted information from this article" Our County" In 1908, under the leadership of County Judge J.B. Messick, the County began construction of the third and present courthouse, a three-story building made of the same local stone used a couple of years earlier in the new city hall and Catholic Cathedral. It included a clock tower, and, at that time, a jail on the third floor. The grounds were graced with two items which have special historical interest the cannon and the statue.

The original cannon was a piece of heavy artillery, a relic of either the Civil War or the Spanish American War. Many years later, County Judge Charles Baird, on behalf of the citizens of Baker County, donated that cannon for scrap metal as part of the war effort in the early days of World War II. A rousing farewell was given the cannon by local residents, complete with martial music and a long and profane acceptance speech from a uniformed military officer.

The cannon presently on the east lawn of the courtyard was a post war replacement of unknown origin, but thought to have been from the Imperial Japanese Army. After a Halloween prank in which the cannon was used to fire buckets of nails, chains and other assorted metallic junk into the roof of a nearby church, County authorities sealed the barrel and firing pin to prevent future use of the cannon.

Made in the 10th Year of The Taisho Era.

(Taisho Era is 1912-1926 during the reign of the Emperor Yoshihito.
Converting the dates into a western calendar, the 10th year of the
Taisho era was 1921)

Bottom letters: Japan Steel Works, Ltd.


Additional information on this type of cannon:

Confederate Cannons Found on Shipwreck

The burial of the H.L. Hunley crew isn't the only Civil War news in South Carolina this week. Archaeologists are drooling over the discovery of what may be the single largest collection of Confederate cannon found since the war ended.

The Long Bay Salvage Co. of Murrells Inlet has been granted ownership of a shipwreck containing at least 24 large-bore cannons, recording their find in waters off Cape Romain.

At least four of the heavy guns have been recovered and cleaned. Officials say they likely played a role in the defense of Charleston.

In June 2001, searchers located a sunken barge containing railroad rails, railcar wheels, a locomotive cow-catcher, and at least 24 guns. The barge is believed to have been lost at sea in the 1890s, and was moving outbound from Charleston carrying materials, which at the time was considered post-war scrap, said Marc Marling, an attorney for the company.

Long Bay Salvage filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia to gain ownership of the barge and its contents. It was granted ownership in September 2003. So far the company has recovered four cannons.

One of the guns is a 10-inch Columbiad cast in 1863 at the Belona Foundry, a small foundry outside Richmond, VA, with a serial number of 22.

An identical Columbiad cannon, serial number 20, is at Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston where the remains of the final eight Hunley crew were buried recently.

Until the discovery of the wreck, 18 10-inch Columbiads were known to exist.

According to historical records, there were possibly 70 10-inch Columbiads shipped directly from Richmond to Charleston where they were likely put to use keeping Union ships at bay.

"This is undoubtedly the largest single collection of Confederate cannon to be discovered since shortly after the Civil War, and its eventual disclosure will create great interest among Civil War historians and aficionados," said Wayne E. Stark, a Civil War artillery historian.

Long Bay Salvage is developing a plan to recover the remaining cannons, Marlins said.

From The Post and Courier, submitted by Stephen & Julie Buckler, Walterboro, SC.

Source: The History of Baker County Oregon.
Published by The Baker County Historical Society
Copyright 1986 by The Baker County Historical Society (Used with permission)

Contributed by: Gary Jaensch - Baker City, Oregon

Baker City

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