Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hawks Mountain Cannon

For many years, a rumor has circulated that during the French and Indian War a cannon(s) were left on Hawks Mountain. This summer, various members of CHS have been making hikes up the mountain and talking to various people about any information they have about the cannon. Several people reported that the cannon was near the geodetic marker. Ken Slater forwarded the following information in this regard:

I read with interest your short article on searching for a cannon on Hawks Mountain. I thought I would share with you what I know. As Webmaster for the Springfield Telescope Makers, I'm quite familiar with the plaque, placed in 1921, one year after Russell W. Porter started his Telescope Making classes at J&L in Springfield, and two years before the formal founding of our club on December 7, 1923.

As Porter was the navigator and mapper on several artic explorations in the late 1890's to 1910's, he had a great interest in the geodetic survey work (in fact, he cajoled the geodetic survey people to place a geodetic survey marker in front of our clubhouse on Breezy Hill several years later). So he lead the club member up Hawks, found the geodetic survey site, and they erected a tower on the site so they could triangulate from Breezy Hill and other spots.

There are photos of this group on Hawks Mountain in Bert Willard's biography of Porter. In our archives we a few more photos, and some journals. I am sorry to tell you, if there was a cannon near the plaque (and the photos show that area to be much more open than it is today), there has never been a mention of a cannon, which one would think might get photographed or written about.

I have also been up to visit the plaque, and I have never stumbled across a cannon. Good luck to you, but I suspect if there is a cannon up there, it is not anywhere near the plaque.

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