Kennett Square Eagle Scout Relocates A Piece Of History

Mark Haftl speaking in front of the borough council.--via Fran Maye, 21st Century Media.
The old Ben Butler canon.
The ‘Old Ben Butler” canon.—via Gene Pisasale.

A proactive Kennett Square Eagle scout has taken up the enormous task of moving a piece of civil war history into the heart of the township as part of his Eagle Scout project.

Civil War General Benjamin Butler.--via
Civil War General Benjamin Butler.–via

Mark Haftl, from Troop 24 has been given permission by the Kennett Square council to relocate a civil war era cannon, nicknamed Old Ben Butler, from the southwest corner of East Linden Street and North Broad Street to the borough building on Marshall Street.

The cannon, which used to be fired to hail Union victories in the Civil War, was originally a gift from Bayard Taylor, the famous poet, who presented the cannon to the home guard of Kennett Square in 1861.

The cannon was cast at the Pennock Foundry at State & Willow Streets and later became known as Old Ben Butler, named after the Union General who was strongly opposed to slavery like many of the Quakers from around Kennett Square at the time.

Gene Pisasale, a local historian, commented that there is a cannon with the same nickname of Old Ben Butler, which was also used in the civil war, currently located on the campus of the University of Rhode Island.

Haftl said that the idea of raising the funds for this worthy project came from his parents who encouraged him in his efforts to move the cannon. Haftl then presented the council with his plans, which include moving a time capsule from 1855 that was opened in 1980. Part of the project will also require the construction of a robust base for the cannon so that it can be prominently displayed.

Kennett Square Mayor praised the effort by saying “Thank you for considering Kennett Square for being a recipient of your Eagle Scout project.” While a curious councilor asked Haftl how much the cannon weighed, to which he replied “a good amount.”

According to Haftl the project should be completed soon.

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