The Cannon on Castle Point
The cannon was uncovered by the Stevens family in 1888 as the Colonnade Hotel was being demolished to make way for Elysian Park. An inscription on the cannon reads "Strasbourg 1761," which historians take as an indication that it was brought to the States by French forces during the American Revolution. Years later, the Stevens family moved the mortar to their hilltop estate, where it served as a playground for children who climbed it and gazed out upon the Hudson River.
Eventually the cannon became the subject of a pair of legendary collegiate pranks. In 1968, students absconded with the cannon and somehow managed to transport it all the way down to the Hoboken train station. The next year, they succeeded in bringing it onto a ferry and into Manhattan itself. Stevens alumni Gerry Cripsin '69 and Ed Eichhorn '69 discuss these pranks in more in the recent "Voices of Castle Point" oral history project.