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Monday, May 2, 2016

Courthouse cannons need refurbishing

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This cannon, located on the eastside of the northern Clay County Courthouse lawn, is in desperate need of refurbishing, according to Clay County Commissioner Charles Brown. Jason Moon Photo.
Time eventually takes a toll on historical monuments and artifacts, forcing many to attempt to refurbish history.

For example, there are two cannons that sit in front of the Clay County Courthouse, looking north across United States 40.

"People stop and look at the cannons," Clay County Commissioner Charlie Brown said. "They check out the memorials and look at the dome. They want to know if they can take pictures in the building."

Brown said he takes time out of his schedule to give tours throughout the courthouse and its grounds for people who are interested.

But the cannons are starting to show their age. And Brown wants to refurbish them.

"It's a concern," he said. "It's sad to see the way they have deteriorated."

Brown said approximately 10 years ago, the cannons that sit in front of the courthouse were refurbished. However, they need it once more.

"The wood was not treated," Brown said. "I'd say that 75 percent of that cannon is wood.

"I've watched them for the last five years get in the condition they are. I've seen people sit their kids up on them and it scares the Dickens out of me."

Brown said the cannon on the eastside of the lawn looking at U.S. 40 is in the worst shape.

The canon on the northeast side of the Clay County Courthouse has extensive wheel damage. Jason Moon Photo.
He said he has started discussions with various organizations into helping with the cost of refurbishing the cannons.

"I've brought it up with some people," he said. "I'm just trying to get a price. That's what I'm working on."

Brown estimated the cost to repair the wheels on the cannons at $500 each. He said an approximate cost for the entire project may be close to $3,000.

Brown, an amateur historian, has great interest in the cannons.

"Those cannons have been in front of the courthouse since I was a kid," he said. "Fifty years ago, I moved here from Alabama. I remember them from then."

He said he believes the cannons are pre-Civil War weapons.

Currently, one of the cannons is taped off from the public. The majority of people he has spoken to have said they believe the cannons need refurbishing.

"People pay a lot of money in taxes," he said. "You'd hate to hit them up again for additional money.

"This is a priority to me," he added. "This is extremely important. That's part of our heritage. That's what we pass on to other generations."

Brown said he is interested in possibly setting up an advisory board to look into the project and would entertain suggestions from the community regarding the cannons. For more information or to express interest in the cannons, call Brown at 812-239-3920.

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mabey they can have a fund raiser SAVE THE CANNONS

-- Posted by nobob on Wed, Jul 29, 2009, at 9:50 PM

I think that the best way to raise the money would be through donations. They are, although historic, decorative.

I could not see putting them in the basement. Why store them if you are not going to display them? If we decide not to display them, we should donate them to the museum.

I have become wary whenever someone mentions "beautifying" something, especially public property. "Beauty" requires upkeep and time costs money.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Thu, Jul 30, 2009, at 10:18 AM

That "god-awful" plane is really interesting. I say keep it. The cannons are historic and the taxpayers need not pay for them. There are plenty of service organizations etc. that can assist. I believe the VFW made a donation a few years ago but the project was put on hold for some reason that I don't remember. And tulie32, flowers don't win freedom, cannons and planes do. They are there so that we don't forget and to honor the souls that manned them. Leo, any good at building wheels? Lost art I guess. Does Northview have a woodshop?

-- Posted by michael.galloway1 on Thu, Jul 30, 2009, at 11:09 AM

You know, I really don't know if Northview has a wood shop. If it did, you wouldn't find my son in it. That just isn't his "cup of tea".

I don't know the technique of the wheelwright. Building the carriages wouldn't be that difficult in a modern shop and I'll bet that plans are available in a museum somewhere if the Army doesn't still have them.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Thu, Jul 30, 2009, at 7:12 PM

the F86 is a great plane let it live

-- Posted by 1dogbob on Fri, Jul 31, 2009, at 12:38 PM

WOW talk about un-American. How could you even think of moving the old airplane. Thats about as traditional as it gets. I guess beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. I think if they contact some the of the military orginazations they would have plenty of help raising money to fix the cannon. Note to yngpupgtrytm; it sounds like you are pretty knowledgeable about military artilery and their repairs. Maybe you could offer a little of that knowledge to help fix it up. Just a thought, I wouldnt dare volunteer someone elses time, but would volunteer to assist if you did.

-- Posted by opininated on Fri, Jul 31, 2009, at 6:08 PM

Reading the article about the "refurbishing the cannons" was an insult to every resident in Brazil!! There are potholes everywhere in this town that need fixed, and God forbid trying to walk on the sidewalks that are older than I am. If all the residents in Brazil were reimbursted for the damage to their vehicles from hitting potholes that were big enough to put a volkswagon in, you would realize Mr. Brown that we need to fix our present (now) problems in Brazil. That $3,000.00 you were going to waste, on a cannon could be used to repair our streets. In this time of ression lots of people are out of work. What is more important, a cannon, or the residents of Brazil? It's up to you Mr, Brown, the ball is in your court! Marka Davis

-- Posted by Marka on Sun, Aug 2, 2009, at 12:39 PM

The article about refurbishing the cannons are an insult to every resident in Brazil! Why are you wanting to fix a cannon, when practically every street has potholes large enough to put a volkswagon in, and the pieces of cement that used to be sidewalks are older than I am. If every resident sent you a bill for the damage to their vehicles, maybe you would realize that we need to worry more about the present (NOW), and use the $3,00.00 to fix the potholes. The ball is in your court Mr. Brown, lets see what you think is more important. Marka Davis

-- Posted by Marka on Sun, Aug 2, 2009, at 12:55 PM

Marka, please speak for yourself. I am a resident of Brazil and I dont feel insulted. If Mr. Brown had asked that tax dollars go to repair the cannon then I might have a slight hesitation. But he is talking about raising the funds. I understand that we are in a recession, so if you cant afford a dollar then dont give one. I would much rather drop my dollar in a bucket for the cannons than donate to a bunch of foreigners standing at US40 and SR59 with collection buckets collecting for who knows what, as was happending this past weekend. I want my grandchildren to have something in this town to be proud of and if it is nothing more than military memorabilia at the courthouse, well than thats something.

I suppose you could grab a bucket and head to Wal-Mart and try to start a "save our roads" campaign.

-- Posted by Icareaboutbrazil on Mon, Aug 3, 2009, at 7:23 AM

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