Sunday, April 25, 2010

Search for Secrets of A Sunken Cannon - 71

"X" may mark the spot in Big Myers Lake in Courtland Township for the demise of the Rockford cannon, but it is its description puzzled the Cannonsburg group. It was a small cast iron cannon mounted on a rickety old carriage. It fired for 20 years beyond the Cannonsburg cannon accident.

The Rockford cannon was taken from its summer Boy Scout camp storage out of concern for youngsters who would fire it soon. It's advanced age warranted its disposal. This was the same cannon that prematurely discharged in 1874 killing a Rockford man and injured Marshal Albert Pickett, the same man injured when it prematurely discharged in 1884. Unknown parties took the cannon away one dark night in 1906-07 and sunk it in the murky depths of Big Myers Lake.

Theft of the old cannon meant Rockford would be without a weapon to fire at the 1907 July 4th celebration. Merritt Lamb, a young Boy Scout, age 16, had grown up watching his father fire the cannon and had taken an interest in the cannon many years earlier. He couldn't stand the thought that someone ditched Rockford's cannon so Merritt with the help of his brothers and father built a more modern gun. It was a hand-drawn cast iron field piece, complete with gun carriage and a caisson mounted on small iron rimmed wheels. The two-inch caliber bore muzzleloader was 44-inches long. The cannon was fired with the use of an electric battery, spark coil and an automobile spark plug. The cannon's length and bore size was built heavy enough to keep it from accidental explosions or the gun would flip when fired. The boy was smart.

While doing research for secrets of a sunken cannon I stumbled across this information by accident and I wondered how a 16 year old Boy Scout had the intelligence to make a cannon from scratch. Surely he had to have seen a diagram or something from a previous cannon to know size gun requirements. It was actually made in his father's foundry in Rockford.

Merritt Lamb, a Boy Scout in the Rockford group had a sharp eye for cannon founding. Each 4th of July or Memorial Day he was fascinated with the old Rockford cannon's blast fired at the corner of Main Street and Courtland. Such was the cannon's construction that it was actually made to resemble a cannon not made during the Civil War, but a cannon produced in Scotland from 1450-1650. Cannons during this era were made of wrought or cast iron, welded together and wrapped with iron bands like barrel hoops or wrapped with wound wire. Lamb's cannon resembled a very primitive cannon called a "culverin". This gun was strange and unique on American soil. The design of such a gun had to have come from a personal recollection and diagram by Lamb's father and with his son's knowledge the cannon was cast in Rockford.

Lamb's father had an 80-acre farm in eastern Plainfield Township and south of Rockford. It butted up against Cannon Township's Barkley Creek for many years. Mr. Lamb did considerable business with Cannon and Cannonsburg residents and he could have seen the Cannonsburg cannon or it being fired and patterned the new Rockford cannon's design on it. Remember no photos, pictures or drawings of the Cannonsburg cannon have ever surfaced so how was it that the elder Lamb could make such a old style cannon depicting a short culverin?

Lamb had to have seen the Cannonsburg cannon. Many times a researcher discovers secrets while reading a different topic in newspaper morgues or on microfilm readers. Sometimes too many hours reading microfiche causes snow fiche blindness. Secrets get discovered by pure accident from the personal papers and memoire's of individuals who seemingly only had a brief encounter with the Cannonsburg cannon.

Wouldn't you know it that I discovered an important secret lying in an uncompromising position on the ground, which confirmed the 1450-1650 designs of Lamb's cannon. The eyes caught a clue and Bob and crew never recognized it during our ley line investigations in 1988. On a whim I reacted to my 2007 dream, the spirits prodding and goading me and from that prone position in cold, icy snow I saw the strangest sight.

I wondered why Bob didn't discover this clue twenty-five years ago? How could we have missed the cannon's description for 25 years? Sometimes when we look so hard we tend to not think clearly and miss the simplest clues. The mind and eyes concentrate so hard important things disappear. The intense drive to find the Cannonsburg cannon made it easier to lose it without recognizing it, but now is not the time to expose this unclaimed secret - not yet. I've got you wondering don't I? That's it use that brain! I know my halo is flickering again.

It is very important for treasure hunters to know about leys, electromagnetic energy fields and magnetic stones when hunting for the mother lode or cannons with dowsing rods. The mantra said silently must be precise wording. One word change is all it took for the English treasure hunter in 2009 to find about 18 million pounds worth of buried gold and silver treasure. All have a direct bearing on final conclusions and it takes the sting out of the mysteries that surround our lives on a daily basis. Next time its the mysteries of leys, magnetic stones and earth energies.

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