BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - A newly-restored civil war cannon is now on display in downtown Bainbridge, thanks to a Georgia man's selfless act.
An incredible piece of history, now restored for folks to enjoy for generations to come. But before Carl A. Rykard got his hands on it, it wasn't in the best shape.
"It had been sitting here, probably 30, 40, or 50 years," Rykard said.
The wood was rotted, and parts of the cannon's base were buried in the mud. So Rykard, nicknamed "Bullet" decided he'd restore it. Free of charge.
"I totally rebuilt it with oak, and I donated it to the city," Rykard said.
The $9,000 project took him more than eight months to complete. Further research revealed the 888 pound bronze cannon was originally cast in 1850.
"It was a pleasure to do it because I enjoy doing it. It was a labor of love, and I'm working on some more right now."
His fascination with civil war memorabilia stems from both of his great, great, great grandfathers serving in the Confederate Army... soldiers who are remembered at Willis Park where the cannon now stands.
"He's just become a part of our history. And like he said, the kids that are here now in strollers can come back one day and they'll be able to bring their children," said City Council Member Roslyn Palmer.
Rykard says he's proud to bring this piece of history back to its glory-- sharing insight that no history book can provide.