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Cannonball from 1850s with presumed live fuse discovered at Pewaukee Historical Society

peewaukee cannonball
Posted at 5:42 PM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 18:42:50-04

PEWAUKEE — A 12-pound cannonball dating back to the 1850s at the Pewaukee Historical Society had an uncut time fuse, presumed live, in storage, a discovery that caused quite a shock, police say.

Village of Pewaukee police said in a statement Thursday that officers responded to a suspected bomb complaint at the Pewaukee Historical Society last Tuesday afternoon.

Staffers there explained to officers that a person who donated the cannonball in 2018 informed the museum that they had read an article about a person restoring a similar cannonball. During the restoration, it appears that cannonball exploded and killed a person.

The donor told the museum they believed the exploding cannonball was similar to the cannonball they had donated to the Pewaukee Historical Society.

The museum volunteer who had taken the call soon found the cannonball in question on a shelf on the second-floor storage area and immediately called police.

Pewaukee  cannonball
The museum volunteer who had taken the call soon found the cannonball in question on a shelf on the second floor storage area and immediately called police.

A few days later, the Milwaukee County Bomb Squad concluded that the cannonball was in immaculate condition with an uncut Bormann time fuse, presumed live.

Village of Pewaukee police say these types of cannonballs were oftentimes packed with lead balls and used as shrapnel.

The Milwaukee County Bomb Squad is now in possession of the cannonball, and will determine if it can be rendered safe and returned - or if it needs to be destroyed.

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