BLOOMFIELD HILLS (WWJ) – This week marks a unique chance to touch history at the Cranbrook Institute of Science — where an 18th Century British cannon, pulled from the depths of the Detroit River in 2011, is being painstakingly restored.

Visitors are using brushes to gently remove two centuries of grime from the historic artifact.

Karl Mayry is a curator at Cranbrook.

“To hire a staff to do this would be just astronomical and they get a once in a lifetime opportunity to interact with a really precious artifact to hold it – touch it, clean it. I mean – how many cannons are there? Not many,” said Mayry.

Mayry said that kids can make a rubbing of their favorite marking and to take home as a remembrance of the conservation work they are doing.

Among those with toothbrush in hand today was 10-year-old Hannah Stalker.

“It actually does look like it’s been used, it has scratches on it, on the barrels, I would recommend coming down here to see it,” she said.

Pierce Minor, 10 said he would stay as long as he could to work on the cannon.

The cannon is believed to have been cast in Europe and most likely used against the Americans in the Revolutionary War, according to Mayry, “We think they dragged them out in the winter time and let them fall through so the American’s couldn’t take possession of them when the American’s came.”

The cannon, baring the monogram of King George III clean-up will remain open to the public throughout this week.

Find out more from Cranbrook – HERE.


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