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Sitka roof gives up possible secrets of the past, remnants of 1804 battle
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Soon after the workers noticed the metal balls mixed in with the gravel they began speculating on their origin.

Information from: Everyday Sitka (Alaska) Sentinel, http://www.sitkasentinel.com/

Cindy Edwards' nephew Jesse Brantman, the third generation of the Edwards-Brantman family to volunteer at the Hames Center, was the initial one particular to come across the iron balls, whilst shoveling gravel on the roof final week.

"I'm mainly curious to hear what the professionals say," Brantman mentioned.

The theory now becoming investigated is that the balls have been grapeshot or canister shot fired by cannons in the 1804 Battle of Sitka, and had remained on the bottom of Indian River the next century and a half, until the gravel was dredged out for construction projects

Carter, whose master's thesis was about the arms and armaments of a British warship that sank in Lake Champlain, said he's in the initial phase of the investigation, and will start by obtaining out who the contractor was on the last project. that they could have been Russian," Brantman said. He mentioned he's specifically interested in whether or not the shot is from the Battle of 1804.

Brant Brantman, part-time facilities manager at the Hames Center, is one particular of the volunteers shoveling gravel off the roof.

"It is a tedious job," he mentioned. "For a moment we have been just fancying ourselves as archaeologists, not rooftop workers."

"It really is a bunch of high-functioning people doing days of grunt operate - it was fantastic to have some diversion."

Both grapeshot and canister shot are tiny metal balls fired as a cluster from a cannon, and getting the impact of a shotgun, scattering projectiles over a big region.

Indian River has been off-limits for dredging because the 1940s, when vast quantities of gravel was dredged for military construction about Sitka.

Soon after the very first balls began showing up last week, the gravel removal on the roof turned into a bit of a treasure hunt, with volunteers checking each shovelful of gravel. Read Article

Brantman stated he is largely focused on finishing the roof project, but would surely like to know far more about their find.

Brantman stated he and his wife, Cindy Edwards, 1st heard about iron balls in the roof gravel from Cindy's dad, Jere Edwards, in the 1990s, when Jere was a Volunteer in Mission on the Sheldon Jackson College and was functioning on upkeep projects at the Hames developing.

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The layer of smooth pebbles that was an integral part of the flat portion of the athletic center's roof when it was built in the 1980s is being removed as part of the roof renovation now under way. "We heard legend of that."

But he did say that the objects appear to be canister shot or grapeshot, based on their size, material and mold markings, named sprue. He's eager to speak to the contractor about the rock supply on the Hames Center roof project.

. Carter told Brantman and the others that on initial glance the iron spheres have markings that appear to be Russian, but that he will have to do additional investigation before he's positive.

"He told Cindy one particular of the VIMs located the balls, and the suspicion was that because it was rock that came from Indian River ..

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