Charlie Smithgall Has Passed

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Likely you do not recognize his name. Understandable.

He operated a pharmacy in the city of Lancaster, PA. He has served as Lancaster's mayor. He lived on a farm not far from me. Why am I telling you about him? He had what was possibly the largest collection of muzzle loading cannons in the world. Certainly in the United States. I could sometimes on holidays hear his cannons from my property. When he was mayor there would be a performance of the 1812 Overture in the Lancaster city park on 4th July and he would bring cannons to fire in the finale.

When the movie Lincoln was filmed they rented two straight flatbed trailers of cannons from Charlie. Word is there was hell to pay on I95 when they pulled onto the highway. Our local blacksmith always did Charlie's maintenance. He hinted that the idiot movie crews kept him employed for months.

Another thing about Charlie is that he always carried concealed for work. Don't know how often he felt he needed to draw his weapon in the pharmacy. But do know he shot one attempted robber. Don't recall if he killed him. Did not much matter.

Have zero clue what the family wants to do with the cannons. It would be a pity for such a collection to be broken. But clearly I am not going over to ask.
 

Mustang65

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Likely you do not recognize his name. Understandable.

He operated a pharmacy in the city of Lancaster, PA. He has served as Lancaster's mayor. He lived on a farm not far from me. Why am I telling you about him? He had what was possibly the largest collection of muzzle loading cannons in the world. Certainly in the United States. I could sometimes on holidays hear his cannons from my property. When he was mayor there would be a performance of the 1812 Overture in the Lancaster city park on 4th July and he would bring cannons to fire in the finale.

When the movie Lincoln was filmed they rented two straight flatbed trailers of cannons from Charlie. Word is there was hell to pay on I95 when they pulled onto the highway. Our local blacksmith always did Charlie's maintenance. He hinted that the idiot movie crews kept him employed for months.

Another thing about Charlie is that he always carried concealed for work. Don't know how often he felt he needed to draw his weapon in the pharmacy. But do know he shot one attempted robber. Don't recall if he killed him. Did not much matter.

Have zero clue what the family wants to do with the cannons. It would be a pity for such a collection to be broken. But clearly I am not going over to ask.
My father was born in Lancaster in 1904. I'm 74 but certainly would like to visit that city before I go. My dad was a great man and miss him dearly.
Very sorry to hear your friend has passed. Sounded like a real good man.
 

zimmerstutzen

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decades ago, my young son was enthralled by cannons in the movies, so I took him to Ft Shenandoah for the fall nationals to see the cannon matches. Charlie Smithgall saw my son's interest and gave my 6 yr old son the grand tour of the cannon, spent a good 15 minutes explaining how it works, how it is loaded etc. Charlie seemed to know that a young child's attention span is about 15 minutes and left my son sit on the cannon for a few seconds at the end. The whole ride home, my son would not shut up about the cannon. Charlie was very kind to my son. I have always been grateful. RIP Charlie.
 

Mustang65

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Likely you do not recognize his name. Understandable.

He operated a pharmacy in the city of Lancaster, PA. He has served as Lancaster's mayor. He lived on a farm not far from me. Why am I telling you about him? He had what was possibly the largest collection of muzzle loading cannons in the world. Certainly in the United States. I could sometimes on holidays hear his cannons from my property. When he was mayor there would be a performance of the 1812 Overture in the Lancaster city park on 4th July and he would bring cannons to fire in the finale.

When the movie Lincoln was filmed they rented two straight flatbed trailers of cannons from Charlie. Word is there was hell to pay on I95 when they pulled onto the highway. Our local blacksmith always did Charlie's maintenance. He hinted that the idiot movie crews kept him employed for months.

Another thing about Charlie is that he always carried concealed for work. Don't know how often he felt he needed to draw his weapon in the pharmacy. But do know he shot one attempted robber. Don't recall if he killed him. Did not much matter.

Have zero clue what the family wants to do with the cannons. It would be a pity for such a collection to be broken. But clearly I am not going over to ask.
That would be an awesome museum for historic preservation.
 
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