New Cannons on Display at Nancy Island – Legacy of James Ward

The Friends of Nancy Island and Wasaga Beach Park are pleased to be able to show case two Cannons that were built and donated by James (Jim) Ward of Wasaga Beach. Jim was a member of the Friends of Nancy Island, a volunteer during Wasaga Under Siege and a skilled and talented artisan. Unfortunately Jim passed away suddenly this winter.

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Naval Cannon – 350 hours to build

Naval Cannons were used on all H.M.S. warships for about 100 years, including the HMS Nancy. They were fairly standard from 1765 to 1865 and could be found with three different barrel lengths.  Generally the carriages that held the cannons were built of oak and painted grey to protect the wood from water damage.



Field Cannons were used when armies had to march a distance to engage the enemy in battle.  They were made from about 1820 to 1865. The one on display represents a 6 pounder which would have been hooked to a limber which held the powder and cannon balls. Other items required to load, aim and fire a cannon were referred to as ‘side arms’ and included a rammar, sponge and wad hook.

The building of these cannons were a labour of love for Jim. He estimated that he spent over 1,000 hours building the Field Cannon and 325 hours on the Naval Cannon. Jim’s artistic carvings and art have been enjoyed and appreciated by many and we are happy that some of his fine work is on display at Nancy Island Historic Site. Be sure to come and see these works of art this year.

During 2017 Nancy Island Historic Site is open:

Weekends only from May 27th – June 18th, 10 am-5pm

Daily from June 19th -September 4th, 10 am-5pm

Weekends only from September 9th to October 8th, 10am-5pm


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