Divers Find 200-Year-Old Cannon in Detroit River

Fourth cannon pulled from river in last 30 years

By Greg Wilson
|  Wednesday, Sep 7, 2011  |  Updated 8:51 AM PDT
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Divers Find 200-Year-Old Cannon in Detroit River

Getty Images/Tetra images RF

cannon in field

Police divers found a 200-year-old cannon in in the Detroit River.

The six-foot-long cannon, which weighs 1,200 pounds, will be pulled to dry land today, according to the Detroit Free Press. It is the fifth such cannon to be found in the last 30 years in the area around the city's Cobo Center. It was found during training dives and was covered in zebra mussels.

"We've dove that area hundreds of times and never came across it," said Sgt. Dean Rademaker, who was also on hand when the last cannon was found, in 1994.

How the cannons, believed to be British, got in the Detroit River remains unclear. Experts theorize the British may have been moving some down the river to Ft. Malden in Amherstburg, Ontario, when they went overboard or the boat sunk in 1796, Detroit Historical Society Curator Joel Stone said. Another may have sunk with a barge based on some debris found near it, Stone said.

Rademaker was diving about 200 feet off the river bank when he spotted a silhouette atop river bottom, he told the paper.

"It was something that wasn't supposed to be there," he said. He quickly realized it was yet another cannon. 

"I thought to myself, 'You gotta be kidding me,' " he said.

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