An historic cannon made an appearance Thursday in Shevlin Park after a 169-year absence.
Volunteers with the Des Chutes Historical Museum packed up the 223-pound brass cannon, taking it to Shevlin Park for photographs. The cannon was with John Fremont, a famous Oregon explorer of the 1800s.
The group took photos of the cannon in preparation for an exhibit about Fremont and his expedition at the Nevada State Museum in Carson City, Nev. The cannon and the photos showing the weapon in its historic setting will be part of the exhibit when it opens in October 2013. The exhibit will come to Bend in November 2014, said Kelly Cannon-Miller, executive director of the Deschutes County Historical Society, which operates the museum.
Fremont's journal records point to Shevlin Park as the location he passed through and spent a night in on Dec. 4, 1843. At the time, he was with a party that included Kit Carson and two Klamath Native American guides. Earlier that year, he had finished surveying the Oregon Trail with an expedition.
After finishing his mission and arriving in The Dalles in November 1843, Fremont opted to head south with a party of 25 men, said Loren Irving, a Bend resident whose photography will be part of the exhibit.
Fremont's journal, map and measurements of latitude coordinates all point to where he traveled, Irving said.
In Fremont's journal entry, he writes about taking a trail into a pine forest, later descending into a valley with spaces of open pines with scattered grass meadows. He also writes about a 40-foot-wide stream, and 140-foot larches.
The cannon tube is the only original part — a replica of the carriage was made later.
The cannon was discovered after the expedition by a miner in Nevada.
Newspaper accounts show that Fremont, when passing through Virginia City, Nev., in his later years, saw the cannon and indicated he recognized it.
That's a strong part of the evidence indicating that the cannon is the same one Fremont took on his expedition, Cannon-Miller said.
The cannon is on loan to the Bend museum from the Nevada State Museum.