This morning a 350-pound cannonball was found on Governors Island, which sort of makes sense given the old Army facilities housed there. However, according to some reports, the cannonball was found on a different part of the island. Dun dun dun.
DNA Info says the cannonball was found on "the part of the island managed by the city-run trust... not the portion that's home to Fort Jay and Castle Williams, the U.S. Army military facilities that were active on the island during the War of 1812." However, ABC reports that it was found by workers excavating near a fort. We've contacted a Governors Island rep to clarify things, and to find out more about what went down this morning, and if they have any guesses as to where this mysterious explosive came from. Until we hear back, let's just assume an old military ghost is having some fun.
In 1900 the NY Times published an article declaring the old cannonballs on the island would be used for new "peaceful" machinery, but it looks like at least one got away. Currently all is safe on the island, however, as the NYPD's bomb squad and FDNY were called over to check it out (they even brought their trucks on the ferries to reach the island).
UPDATE: The Governors Island blog has now been updated with some cool old photos, and more details on today's find. They write, "While doing construction work near Soissons Dock, workers found an old cannon ball near the seawall. NYPD came out to assess the cannonball and determined that it was a solid shot made of iron and contained no explosive material. Since it was deemed safe, it can now join other cannonballs that visitors see on the Island, like those near Fort Jay." They believe it "could have possibly come from the 15 inch cannons in Fort Jay or Castle Williams, but it is more likely that they were left over from when the Island was an arsenal and surplus cannonballs were sent here. In historic photos of Army era, one can see that cannonballs were very prevalent and were often piled in front of buildings or used for decorative purposes on lawns."