Construction crews working in the Lawrenceville neighborhood Monday stumbled upon a tangible reference to the area’s industrial past that needed bomb squad intervention.
As noted in the above report by WTAE, explosives experts with the Pittsburgh Police were called in after crews working on an apartment complex near the intersection of 39th and Butler Streets unearthed at least 20 cannonballs.
However, as reported by KDKA, the vintage ordnance came as no surprise since the construction site is near the location of the historic Allegheny Arsenal. Founded by the U.S. Army Ordnance Department near Lawrenceville in 1814, Allegheny was active through the Civil War period making cartridges and harnesses for artillery horses.
“Because of the location of this site being so close to the Arsenal, they were already aware that they may come across some old relics from the Civil War,” said Sonya Toler, with the Pittsburgh Police. “Sure enough, when they checked the dirt, they did find several.”
Construction has halted until a group familiar with the type of shell, Ordnance Holdings Inc. in Maryland, can arrive to remove the cannonballs.
“They are specially trained for this type of work,” Toler told the Post-Gazette. “These cannonballs are stable when left alone.”
In semi-related news, History Colorado’s Pueblo Warehouse recently moved locations and evaluated bakers’ dozen of old artillery shells and cannonball in their collection, calling in Pueblo Police bomb squad who tagged in an Army EOD team from nearby Fort Carson who said some were safe enough to move and keep on public display, while electing to destroy others they weren’t sure about.