Cannon Point

The cannon at Cannon Point arrived in Downieville on July 1 of 1862. It was purchased in San Francisco in late June by Dr. E. G. Bryant, a young physician and surgeon of Downieville at the time. Brought to town by a freight team, the cannon weighed in at twelve hundred pounds and fired a twelve-pound ball. It was used for celebrations, special events, and Independence Day, to add a bit of excitement to the proceedings. The firing of a cannon is a dangerous thing; however, as this excerpt from an early day paper proves: “By the premature discharge of a cannon fired in honor of the capture of Vicksburg, from the bluffs below town, Lieutenant M. M. Knox and Second Lieutenant William A. Donaldson were horribly mangled and killed. Knox was blown down the declivity two hundred feet, while Donaldson had his eyes blown out, his wrists torn off, and was otherwise mutilated.” Also located at the overlook is a drawing of Downieville from an 1880 photograph which can be compared to the town below today.

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