Elizabeth cemetery's cannon gets Eagle Scout upgrade
The Mt. Vernon Cemetery War Memorial cannon is an interesting piece of hardware. Painted silver and only about knee-high, the gun is said to date to around the time of World War I and is believed to be from a naval ship from the same period.
Other than that, local lore about the cannon appears to be obscured by the passage of time; its keepers don't know exactly when it arrived at the cemetery or why.
The obscurity is perhaps owing to the fact the artillery piece was, until recently, overgrown with weeds and difficult for the casual passer-by to see.
But that has changed thanks to the work of Michael Jones, who has revitalized the memorial with the help of friends and an area business.
Mike, a Boy Scout and student at Elizabeth Forward High School, undertook the project as part of his efforts to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. In addition to clearing away vegetation, he has rebuilt the platform and is in the process of straightening Civil War grave markers that have begun to lean.
“We just kind of winged it,” Mike said when asked about planning for the project, which involved pouring a new footer for the pad and laying pavers.
Some of the construction decisions may have been made on the spot but other aspects of the job have been in the works for months.
“You have to get donations and raise funds,” he said.
Friends of the Mt. Vernon Cemetery Association initially contacted Boy Scout Troop 99 in Elizabeth Township about the memorial.
Joy Cullen of the association said her group had a grant from the Crawford Foundation that helped cover some costs.
“It was great to have him do the work,” said Cullen, who plans to reach out again to the Scouts about future projects.
Mike recruited friends from his troop to help with labor, including Sam Durant, who earned his Eagle Scout rank last year with a project installing shelves at Central Highland Community United Methodist Church.
Troop members Neil McGuire and Sam Boden were part of the crew and Mike said his grandfather Robert Macey was of a great help the masonry.
Mike said Busy Beaver in White Oak was very helpful by donating supplies.
Cullen said the cemetery has made progress in recent years through volunteers identifying graves of Civil War veterans. Previously, the cemetery only knew about 21 Civil War veterans. Now there are 40 on record in the cemetery along Buena Vista Road.
Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ice jam wipes out McKeesport’s marina
- Elizabeth Township, McKeesport impacted by ice jam on Youghiogheny River
- Winter weather likely to shorten summer vacation, delay commencement in East Allegheny
- Forward Township couple, Florida man arrested in drug sting
- Report identifies Mon-Yough residents who are at risk in train disasters
- East Allegheny officials discuss cost savings, turf’s status at workshop meeting
- Mon Valley officials optimistic salt supplies will last
- McKeesport heritage center event recognizes famous black Mon Valley musicians
- Duquesne Elementary School students join the ranks of junior constables
- Vigil at site of homicide remembers slain McKeesport plumber
- Day of prayer at McKeesport church shines light on HIV, AIDS