Firing Uncle Ralph's Cannon

(6/21/03, click on any picture for a larger version)

My Uncle Ralph Wilson died on 6/15/03 after a long fight with cancer.  He had a lifetime passion of hunting and firearms (see my Elk Hunt page here), including building civil war era black-powder rifles and even a few cannons.  The biggest cannon he built is shown below, it is a 1/2 length scale replica of a cannon used in the civil war.  In the civil war, the barrel would be carried across two mules, and the wheels and carriage would be carried by another mule.  After the funeral, we brought it out and fired a few rounds in his memory.

Here is a picture of the cannon.  It fires juice cans filled with concrete, there is a pile of them shown in the picture below:


Chip (Ralph's son) getting it ready.


Click here to see an MPEG video of the cannon firing.  Below is a still shot from the middle of the video:


After we fired 6 shots, we send the kids out in the field to retrieve the bullets, you can see them in the distance in the right half of the picture (click on the picture to zoom in if you cannot see them).


Here is a stitched together 180 degree picture of the field above (I was playing with my new camera and the software).  It's more impressive if you click on the picture below to zoom in.


Earlier in the day, here is a picture at the Church of a display that was laid out of Uncle Ralph's things:


And a picture of the church (Trinity 1st United Methodist in Salem, Oregon) before the ceremony started.  This was also stitched together, and one of the pictures was pretty blurred.


Ralph was survived by his wife Shirley (pictured below):


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