File photo The cannon on the square has been temporarily removed to replace the wooden carriage that holds it.

File photo

The cannon on the square has been temporarily removed to replace the wooden carriage that holds it.

The cannon that calls home to the square in Russellville is no longer there after a century of occupancy. No worries, however, it is due to return with a brand new carriage before the annual Tobacco & Heritage Festival in October.

According to a local restorationist, the wooden carriage that holds the cannon, which is over 25 years old, is shot and has become a safety hazard to those who visit the small but quaint park.

Brought to the community over a century ago, the cannon once used in the Mexican-American War from 1846-1848, was brought to Russellville on a train in the early 1900's.

The 6 PDR field cannon found its way to the square first by laying at the feet of the statue on a cradle of concrete for most of its stay before local jeweler and businessman, Marion Humphries took a notion in the 1990's to build it a carriage feeling it needed more respect than that.

"I used to stand outside my store across from the square and just look at that cannon and think that is not right. It shouldn't be just laying there. It should have a proper carriage," said Mr. Humphries who quickly jumped to action and began a crusade in the community to get that done.

Mr. Humphries said it was amazing to see how everyone pulled together. People donated money through the city and local businesses such as H&H Sheet Metal and

Pro-Fab lent a hand with the workings. The wheels of the cannon were made by Fenton Miller in Elkton and the base was cut from a tree on the Dickie Carter farm and taken to the local sawmill and cut to fit.

"Work on this project lasted for over a year," said Humphries who constructed the original carriage in his garage.

Mr. Humphries looked after the cannon for years he said. Until he became disabled and could no longer get out to the square. It wasn't unusual for Mr. Humphries to come and move the city's sprinkler system that hit the carriage from time to time.

"I think over the years the wood in that carriage has rotted over time from water," said the retired jeweler.

This time around, the city plans on using pressure treated wood to build the new carriage and hopes it takes even longer until needing more work.

"We will be restoring some of the same parts of the carriage that Mr. Humphries constructed," said Russellville Mayor Mark Stratton. The metalwork is still in good shape and it will be restored and put back onto the new carriage."

For Mr. Humphries, the carriage signifies more now than when he came up with the idea years ago. It's a reminder of how a community can pull together with one common goal and accomplish something out of nothing.

It was hard for Mr. Humphries to see what some call "his cannon" leave the square. It was also a reminder of how time passes quickly and changes come around marking the calendar of our lives. But no worries Mr. Humphries, your cannon will be back and the story of its journey from concrete to carriage will live on way after we are gone.