This artillery piece was given as a gift to NYC back during the Civil War, but when workers recently removed the concrete that had sealed the 230-year-old cannon, they found that it was loaded with a cannonball and gun powder. (Photo: CBS 2)
NEW YORK (CBS) - A dangerous and historic discovery was made in Central Park on Friday afternoon.
Parks workers came upon a live cannon ball, loaded in a cannon that is getting refurbished, CBS 2's Lou Young reported exclusively.
The loaded artillery piece was one of two Revolutionary War-era cannons being stored at the park's Ramble shed near the 79th Street transverse.
They were donated to the park about the time of the Civil War and the piece in question had been sealed with concrete. It was when that concrete was removed that park conservancy workers noticed it was still loaded with a cannonball and gunpowder.
The finding was a shock to everyone involved, including tourists using the park Friday afternoon.
"Something like that, it's surprising to be overlooked," one woman said.
"It seems like some people are pretty incompetent not to notice after all these years," a man added.
In fairness, it never occurred to anyone that 230-year-old field piece would still pose a threat. The NYPD responded and removed the powder, but left the cannonball.
"We silenced British cannon fire in 1776 and we don't want to hear it again in Central Park," the NYPD said in a statement.