04/21/04 — Old German cannon from city park goes on Ebay

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Old German cannon from city park goes on Ebay

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on April 21, 2004 2:11 PM

The old cannon has seen a lot of action over the years. It has possibly been used in both world wars, and it mysteriously made its way to Goldsboro where it captured the hearts -- and one body -- of local children.

Now, the city is trying to find a way to get rid of the rusty relic that once sat in Herman Park and was a focal point of joy for many children. The cannon stayed in the park until one girl accidentally got her body stuck in it.

Old cannon

News-Argus/Barbara Arntsen

This old rusty cannon will be sold by the city over the Internet.

The city has tried to give the cannon away. The N.C. National Guard kept it for a while -- until it was discovered that it was a German cannon.

So the city has decided to take the sale to the Internet.

Goldsboro City Council members agreed Monday to auction off the cannon on eBay, if no local historical museums have interest in it.

"I'll ask them," said City Manager Richard Slozak, "but I don't think they'll be interested."

State law allows the city to sell property by electronic auction.

Slozak said he thought that the city would have some luck selling over the Internet, because tentative inquiries had already produced a prospective buyer.

"It's not fixable," Slozak said of the cannon's condition. "And it would probably be too big for the front yard of a museum."

He wasn't sure of the cannon's age, saying that he thought it was from early World War II. "But it looks like a World War I cannon that made it to World War II," he added.

The cannon's travels to Goldsboro are a mystery at City Hall. "I don't know how the city ended up with it," said Neil Bartlett, director of the city's Recreation and Parks Department.

Bartlett, who was born and reared in Goldsboro, said he remembered climbing on the cannon when he was a child.

The cannon was popular with kids, until a young girl got stuck inside of it several years ago. At that time, the city decided it was time to retire the cannon.

"We gave it to the National Guard, and I can't remember exactly how long they kept it," said Slozak. "I think it was less than a year."

After that, it ended up in the yard at the General Services Department on Clingman Street, where it sits today, waiting for a new home.