Hull antiques buyer finds live cannonball in year-old purchase

HULL, Mass. — A South Shore veteran has lived to see a lot, but tonight he’s sharing an explosive story that trumps it all.

The 68-year-old stumbled upon a 19th century live cannonball in his shed which led to a neighborhood evacuation.

Bruce Wescott has been buying and selling antiques for more than 40 years, sometimes he has so much it takes him years to look over.

“I buy things and sometimes never look in the box for 1, 2, 3 years,” he said.

Every so often, the retired postmaster stumbles upon a surprise, but he’s never found anything quite like this.

“I find a cannonball. A Civil War cannon ball. Wow this is these could be worth some money,” he told FOX25. “As I’m researching, I’m beginning to realize this cannonball is live.”

The 15 lb. cannonball had a fuse still sticking out of it, and when Wescott went to a nearby gun shop he learned just how dangerous it was.

“’Hey I got a cannonball for you to buy, Civil War $1000!’ He took it right away and said ‘buddy that looks live to me, out the door please,’” he said.

After driving home, Wescott called police and was told not to touch it.

He left it on the front lawn and waited for police. Surveillance shows firefighters and the bomb squad moving in.

Neighbors were evacuated, but Bruce’s 92-year-old mother didn’t mind the commotion.

“Three young strapping firemen carried her out. She loved the attention she had only slippers on, they put her shoes on her feet,” Wescott laughed. “Oh the best part of the day.”

It might have been fun for her, but the tone was serious for the bomb squad. They eventually moved the live cannonball to landfill where they detonated it, safely away from the home where it sat unnoticed for more than a year.

“I really don’t want to deal with cannonballs in the future, I’d rather stay away from cannonballs,” Wescott said.

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