ST. JOHNSVILLE — A several-hundred-pound cannon was recently stolen from the grounds of Fort Klock, its absence discovered last week. A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the cannon’s recovery and successful prosecution of those responsible for its theft.
“If I had to guess, I’d say it was taken about a week ago,” said Bob Metzger, chairman of the Fort Klock Historic Restoration Board of Trustees. The last time he saw the cannon was on Saturday, October 24.
Upon discovering that the cannon was missing, Metzger said, “To put it mildly, I was surprised,” not only that somebody would go through the effort to steal a 350-400 pound piece of artillery, but also that “somebody could stoop so low to steal from our organization (FKHR).”
Metzger noted that though it would cost about $1,000 to replace the cannon, its value is mostly sentimental, as the reproduction Revolutionary War three-pounder – named because it fires a three pound iron ball – was cast in the late 1950s by one of Fort Klock Historic Restoration’s founding members, Skip Barshied.
Barshied, who passed away in January, was a lifelong collector of historical information and items, constantly advocating for preservation. He was a member (and sometimes founder) of several local groups and organizations, to which he continually supplied historic pieces and helpful facts.
The cannon, used in re-enactments at Fort Klock, was located near the southeast corner of a stone wall in the vicinity of the historic fort’s Dutch barn. The cannon remained in that spot for several years, as the wooden carriage the cannon tube sat atop was “completely shot.” As such, Metzger said the cannon tube would’ve likely been easy to get loose from the carriage.
“I was planning on redoing a carriage to put it on,” in the near future, Metzger said.
Montgomery County Sheriff Jeffery Smith said that his office is investigating the theft, encouraging those with information, or potential video related to the incident, to contact law enforcement at (518) 673-2554 or (518) 853-5500.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office has contacted the three tri-village area police departments regarding the theft, also putting out a bulletin to police agencies in the Capital Region. In addition, notice has been provided to area businesses dealing in antiques and scrap metal.
Smith said the more that word spreads about the theft, the greater the chance that the case will be solved, “We’re doing everything we can to share the message publicly.”
Smith noted that several people have come forward with offers of reward funding, the money for recovery and successful conviction quickly ballooning from $200 to the current $1,000. “If people come forward and they want to increase the size of that reward, that’s a possibility,” said Smith regarding the reward’s further potential growth.
The bottom line, Metzger said, addressing the thief or thieves directly, “We are still looking for you and we are not going to stop looking until we find you.”