Colonial cannon found in Cape Fear River

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A piece of history that has been hidden in the Cape Fear River for more than three centuries has surfaced in Brunswick County.

A colonial cannon was discovered right before Christmas by the Norfolk Dredging Company. It is a New Year’s gift to the Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site.

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Site Manager, Jim McKee could not be more excited.

“It’s really exciting. As you can look around we’ve got plenty of cannons around here. And we’ve got one that’s a fairly early colonial gun as well. But we don’t have this,” McKee said.

State archaeologists came to check out the history discovery Wednesday afternoon.

“To see what it’s condition is. And make our recommendations. And plan with the historic site what needs to be done to conserve the gun and stabilize it and get everything good,” Assistant State Archaeologist, Chris Southerly said.

Visitors also got the chance to see the colonial cannon up close. Visitor, Tracy Richardson says she was blown away.

“And the history of it. I thought he was going to say World War I, or World War II. But not back to the 1700’s,” Richardson said.

It is centuries old but experts are already guessing which ship it came from.

“One of the best candidates that would be ideal would be the Fortuna. Which was part of the Spanish attack on Brunswick Town in the mid eighteenth century,” Southerly said.

A gun with a story to tell, one that the public will be able to watch unfold.

“This is something that’s going to be a treat for the public. Because they’re gonna be able to see the whole process from beginning to end,” McKee said.

The Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site plans to build a special tank for the cannon on Tuesday. Experts say conservation could take up to five years.

For more details on the discovery, click here.