Spruce Pine had a cannon from World War I on Lower Street to honor the Great War in the 1930s. It was placed there by Minerals Post 207 of the American Legion (based in Spruce Pine) after they received it from the U.S. Government. Pictured left to right are (first row): John McBee, A.N. Fuller, and Representative Charles Jonas; (second row) Ed Scott, Mr. McClure who was the Clinchfield depot agent, J.H. Duncan, a Mr. Loven, unidentified, Cliff Gibbs, Arnold Phillips, A.R. “Guss” Craig, and unidentified. It is our guess that this picture was made at the cannon’s dedication. The Legion received it from an U.S. Army arsenal in Rockford, Illinois sometime around 1930.
So, what happened to the cannon? We now know that on September 30, 1942, it was carted away by the U.S. Army to be used scrap metal in World War II. The Legion offered it to the government as a gift in December, 1941, but it took 9 months for the Army to come and get it. Interestingly enough, when they did, they hauled off on a truck and not on the train.
In an article about the cannon in the October 1, 1942 Asheville Citizen, it was noted that it had seen service, but it was not known if it was ever used overseas in the Great War. As to where it was taken after being dismantled on Lower Street on that day in September, 1942, no one knows.