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Help Save a Piece of History at Cranbrook

See and be a part of history by restoring an 18th century cannon at the Cranbrook Institute of Science.

This week, the Cranbrook Institute of Science will allow visitors to do more than just see history — they can be part of it as well. For a few more days, at least. 

From 1-4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, visitors can help remove the rust from an 18th century cannon found in the Detroit River in 2011. The 'Save the Cannon' experience is part of the Extreme Deep and Dive Deep exhibits, and is free with admission to the institute, located at 39221 Woodward Ave. in Bloomfield Hills.

Members of the Detroit Police Department's dive team found the iron cannon during a routine search of the waterway and brought it to the surface for what experts believe was the first time in more than two centuries, a news release stated.

It currently sits in a special electrolysis bath and visitors can use brushes to gently remove the rust, grime and organisms that encased it over the years, said Cranbrook spokesman Steve Pagnani.

How the cannon ended up there remains a mystery, Pagnani said. Though they can't be certain, experts theorize the cannon — which bears the monogram of King George III of Great Britain — may have been dumped after "all the Kings arms" were ordered destroyed when the British retreated in 1796, the news release stated.

The display is expected to reopen for spring break during the first week of April, officials said.

If you go:

The Cranbrook Institute of Science is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tues.-Thurs.; with extended hours until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and from noon-4 p.m. on Sunday.

Museum admission is:

  • $12.50 adults, daily
  • $9.50 children 2-12 and senior citizens (65+)
  • $6.50 Adults, $5.50 children ages 2-12 and seniors 65+, on Friday evening
  • Free for children 2 and under, and museum members

Call 248-645-3200 or visit http://science.cranbrook.edu for more information.

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