Folks who walk into the front lobby of the Tyler Public Library will be staring down the barrel of a cannon. But, it's not because some of them have some overdue books.
Instead, it's a lesson about Smith County's place in Civil War history. The 800 lb. cannon is a replica of one used by the "Douglass Battery"... which was a Confederate unit made up of the county's residents. This one fires six-pound cannon balls, and while it's unloaded right now, it's still a great way to learn about the past.
Randy Gilbert owns the cannon: "You talk to kids and give them a dry lecture about artillery in the Civil War, but you talk to them and have a piece like this that they can touch and feel they learn a lot more from looking at an object instead of just hearing about it."
The cannon will on display through the middle of July, and Randy Gilbert will be sharing stories about the "Douglass battery" and the Civil War.