The Cannon Controversy
One would have thought from the opposition statements reported in the newspaper clippings that the town Common was a pastoral place suddenly being invaded by military armament. However, pictures in the Historical Society’s collection confirm that there were already cannons on the Common at that point, as well the large Monument to Isaac Davis and others who fell in the Revolution. Evidently the underlying issue, not clear from the articles, was that some of the townsfolk (men included) wanted to change the "atmosphere" of the Town Common. One of the Articles on the agenda at the special town meeting in October was that “the town will remove all objects, monuments, and other impediments, from the Town Common…” (The Davis monument was excluded from the Article.) Nothing happened; the cannons already on the Common stayed.
Don't believe everything you read, online or elsewhere - No one is perfect.
Eventually, an article was discovered about the Town of Concord’s gift to Acton of the Davis Stone (upon which, supposedly, Isaac Davis fell). It gave an approximate date of 1900 for their installation. Searching town reports confirmed that on August 21, 1900, the town appointed a committee of three to "procure two cannon to place on the Common" (Town Report for the year ending March 12, 1901, page 10). A later report (for the year ending March 12, 1902, page 33) showed that the cannons were shipped by railroad and then "teamed" to the Common where they were installed on bases, most likely granite. There was no description of where or what era the cannons came from. Phalen’s history of Acton (1954, page 284) stated that they were from the War of 1812, but no documentation was given. The Davis Stone article mentioned in passing that the cannons were from the Civil War, not 1812.
When all else fails... get out of the car
... or ask someone who knows
And what about the World War I field piece that started this research project? For many years, no one seemed to know where it went. See our blog post for the answer.