Large cast-iron cannon stolen from historic Montgomery County fort

Montgomery County

ST. JOHNSVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Investigators are trying to track down whoever stole a large cast-iron cannon from a historic fort in Montgomery County.

The three hundred and 50-pound cannon has been on display here at the Fort Klock historic homestead in St. Johnsville for some 60 years. Robert Metzger, a board member with Fort Klock, told NEWS10 ABC it was once used for re-enactments.

“It is a replica. It was forged back in the ’60s and it’s a replica of a Revolutionary War field cannon, about a three-pounder,” said Metzger. He said he remembers attending one of those reenactments when he was about 10-years-old.

Metzger said the Fort Klock homestead itself was built back in 1750 and served as a spot where local residents would come for protection. He said, at times, there were militia soldiers stationed there as well. 

Skip Barshied was one of the founding members of Fort Klock who decided to restore the site back in the 1930s. He was a local history buff and he was the one who had the replica made. He just recently passed away in January. Members said he gave so much of his time and money into keeping Fort Klock alive, so it was truly heartbreaking to find the cannon stolen.

Metzger believes the cannon was stolen sometime within the last week. He said he last saw it on Saturday.

“We just can’t understand why somebody would come here and remove our property. We struggle to keep ourselves above water here financially and anything that’s taken away from us makes a difference,” said Metzger.

Metzger said from the imprints on the grass, it looks like someone backed a truck right up to the spot where it stood. Montgomery County Sheriff, Jeff Smith, agreed that it was likely hauled away on some sort of truck or tractor.

“It’s very heavy, so it’s something where there’s definitely more than one person involved,” said Sheriff Smith.

Sheriff Smith told NEWS10 his investigators were able to recover some evidence at the scene. They’re reviewing surveillance video and they’re checking in with local scrap yards and antique shops.

“I can’t sit here and explain why people do this stuff. If it’s to try to get money quickly to help support a drug or alcohol problem or if it’s someone who just thought it would be a funny prank. You never really know until you solve it and we’re hopeful that we’ll have a good conclusion to this case,” said Sheriff Smith.

The Sheriff said depending on the value, whoever is responsible could be looking at grand larceny charges.

“The tube itself if you tried to replace it, at this point in time, it would probably cost $1,000 to replace it,” said Metzger.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at (518) 853-5500

“I do not have any reverence for thieves. I really don’t,” said Metzger. 

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