At High Noon on Memorial Day!

Considering the Cannon

For the first time since the pandemic sheltering began, The Honorary Oysterville Militia (THOM) will gather at 11:30 a.m. on Memorial Day (May 30th) for their annual salute to veterans and others who have been called to serve “in the great beyond.”  The cannon will be fired at high noon and the public is cordially invited to attend.

Oysterville has a long history of celebrations marked by cannon fire.  According to my esteemed late Uncle Willard Espy’s account in Oysterville: Roads to Grandpa’s Village, in the 1870s R.H. Espy would don special black broadcloth pants, a maroon and black brocaded vest, a light linen duster, a stiff shirt with boiled bosom, a stiff collar, a bow tie, and a beaver hat and would order the discharge the cannon to begin festivities such as the Oysterville Yacht Club’s Annual Regatta.

THOM Cannon 

There are accounts that Oysterville’s original cannon was blown to bits by a rowdy group of midnight revelers, so for several generations we had to make do with only the stories about it.  Hardly satisfactory thought Nyel.  We happened to be in Gettysburg a few years before Oysterville was to observe the sesquicentennial year of its founding, and all those cannons on display prompted Nyel to make inquiries.  He learned that for a mere ten or twelve thousand dollars Oysterville, too, could once again have a cannon.

We pondered…  and on the long road trip back home we conceived the idea of forming The Honorary Oysterville Militia.  We would sell commissions to our friends and relatives and buy the cannon with the proceeds.  General Nyel was the first to invest.  The plan was successful beyond our wildest expectations and in early 2003 a replica full-sized 1841 mountain howitzer was ordered from Cannon Ltd. in Coolville, Ohio. It arrived in the spring of 2004, just in time for Oysterville’s 150th celebration.  We’ve been celebrating ever since!

P.S.  There are still commissions available.  Apply to General Nyel in Oysterville.

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