Town Cannon Getting New Legs

The Haverhill farmer hired for the job said the old wheels were beyond repair.

The town’s World War I cannon is getting new wheels and a century of rust removed, says the Haverhill farmer who is reconditioning it.

Tyler Kimball was hired for the job by the Union.

On a rainy day in September Kimball sent a flatbed truck to Swampscott. He had the heavy French 75 gun hauled from the cemetery to his 350-acre farm where buffalo roam.

Kimball said on Tuesday that he has knocked rust from the artillery piece and is having new wheels built by Amish craftsmen in Lancaster, Pa.

He'll attach the new wheels when they arrive from Lancaster, and paint the cannon.

Kimball has buffalo, cattle, pigs, horses, llamas and sheep on his farm.

As a side note, he also has coyote. The farm was in the news recently because a pack of 10 or more coyote ate one of his buffalo.

But getting back to the cannon, the spokes and wheels were in such rough shape that he is having whole new wheels made in Pennsylvania, he said.

He hopes to have the cannon reconditioned by early December.

Swampscott fire Capt. Kevin Thompson said earlier that the cannon will go back to its former spot in the cemetery’s American Legion Plot after winter, once the weather gets nice.

Right before the last Memorial Day, when Swampscott firefighters were placing flags on the graves of firefighter, they noticed the cannon was in rough shape, Thompson said.

The union raised the $2,500 needed for the reconditioning through their own contribution, a donation from the Swampscott Police Relief Association and private donations.

“The people were very generous,” Thompson said.

The American Legion Plot holds the graves of World War I veterans.

Famous Swampscott WW I veterans include the actor Walter Brennan and Tony Pierro, said Swampscott Historian Lou Gallo.

Pierro was considered the oldest man in the United States when he died in 2007 at 110 years old.

He was a combat veteran of World War I.


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