- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

GRASS LAKE, Mich. (AP) - A Revolutionary War-era cannon that spent about 200 years at the bottom of the Detroit River will soon be on display in Grass Lake.

The 1,200-pound cannon, which is on renewable loan from the Detroit Historical Society, arrived in the village on Feb. 11, the Jackson Citizen Patriot (http://bit.ly/1U5zfXw ) reported.

The Grass Lake Area Historical Connections plans to showcase the cannon as part of the group’s Michigan Military Heritage Museum. The group wants to build a replica carriage for the cannon with white oak.

“It is marvelous, and a feather in the cap for a small Jackson County museum,” said Marilyn O’Leary, president of the Grass Lake Area Historical Connections, formerly the Grass Lake Area Historical Society.

The British army cannon once stood guard against American Indian or American Colonist attacks at Fort Lernoult in Detroit, a British-occupied fort, located in front of where Cobo Hall stands today. It was forged in England in the mid-1700s during the reign of King George III.

Six such cannons have been recovered from the Detroit River since 1984, according to Joel Stone, senior curator for the Detroit Historical Society.

Grass Lake is the fourth location to receive a cannon for display. The other cannons are at the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Detroit’s Belle Isle and the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority.

When the Revolutionary War ended in 1783, the defeated British troops knew there weren’t enough colonial troops to make them leave the fort right away, so they stayed for 13 years before finally departing for a new post in Canada, Stone said.

Before the British troops left in the winter of 1796, they dragged the cannons onto the ice to keep them out of the hands of the colonial troops. When the river thawed in the spring, the cannons sunk to the bottom of the river.

They were later discovered by the Detroit Police Department Dive Team.

Two more cannons are unaccounted for and could still be at the bottom of the river, according to records from the old fort.

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Information from: Jackson Citizen Patriot, http://www.mlive.com/jackson

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