Veterans Memorial to be new home of Civil War cannonPublished 1:03am Saturday, October 3, 2009
By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star
A treasured piece of history that resides here in Niles is getting a new home.
The city’s public works director, Neil Coulston, announced Thursday the Civil War era cannon that has been positioned outside the American Legion Post on 17th Street would be moved next week to a new location in downtown Niles.
“It has been kind of a long process,” Coulston said Friday.
The cannon has resided at the American Legion for a number of years, said Coulston, and it has been a part of the city for “a long time.”
The American Legion closed back in December of 2008 and the building is currently up for sale.
“The legion had to relinquish control,” of the cannon, Coulston explained.
In his announcement he said the city “just recently received verbal approval to proceed with the move from Congressman Upton’s office while waiting for the application to be approved by the US Army TACOM unit in Warren, Mich.”
An application to move the cannon was submitted to the army in April.
The piece of historical armor will essentially be on “loan” to the city by the United States Army and it’s new home will be at the Veterans Memorial at the corner of Main and Front streets.
“Our goal is by Veteran’s Day and it looks like we’ll make that,” Coulston said.
The move will take place in two parts: the cannon itself will have to be removed from its concrete foundation, “it is expected to take two days to prepare the sub base at the new location,” Coulston said.
“It’s a heavy piece of equipment,” he said of the cannon, with the words “God Bless America United We Stand” stretched across its barrel.
Those working on the transport of the piece will “have to be extremely careful with it.”
Work is expected to start at the new location at 9 a.m. Tuesday with completion scheduled to take place Wednesday.
The excavated material that will be removed from the Veterans Memorial site will be transported back to the American Legion, the space where the cannon used to be refilled.
As for the decision to move the cannon to the Veterans Memorial, Coulston said “we decided that the Veterans Memorial was the most appropriate location.
“You can see it from the river, you can see it from Main Street … If it wasn’t going to be at the American Legion, this is the next best place for it.”