History of the La Arcada Cannon

History of the La Arcada Cannon title=
History of the La Arcada Cannon
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By Jacqueline D.

I have spoken with retired attorney and local historian John Woodward regarding the “March Edness” wall-mounted small bronze 18th century canon located in the La Arcada Plaza courtyard. 

John was a longtime tenant in the La Arcada building and close associate of the property owner, Hugh Petersen. 

Hugh and John shared a passion for collection & preservation of historical artifacts—especially if they had a Santa Barbara historical context. 

Hugh was interested in acquiring a piece of Spanish artillery from the 18th century and found this particular cannon in a catalog from Christie’s in London. He bid on the auction and felt lucky enough to win the bid.

John Woodward helped facilitate shipping from London for delivery to Santa Barbara. The small cannon originally was set up inside Hugh Petersen’s business office in the La Arcada building —- right by the front door!
It was eventually relocated outside in the courtyard mounted on the wall above the fountain. The acquisition occurred sometime during the 1980’s. 

The small caliber Spanish bronze cannon is speculated to have been collected by Mr. Petersen due to his serving in WWII with the US Army artillery corps.

The original placement/ use of the canon may have been aboard a Spanish ship to be fired against enemy personnel or perhaps mounted on a fortress as a defense measure. There is no known record of provenance. 

In any case it is now a source of interest to visitors and residents of Santa Barbara. 

Photo: edhat

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imarshell Mar 27, 2023 08:05 AM
History of the La Arcada Cannon

Cannon of that era were referred to by the weight of the ball they threw. English cannon might be 4,8,12 18,24 32 lb. ... Smaller cannon were called swivel guns.

a-1679955197 Mar 27, 2023 03:13 PM
History of the La Arcada Cannon

The UK kept those throw-weight designations for their artillery until well after WWII.

gizmo1 Mar 26, 2023 09:36 PM
History of the La Arcada Cannon

Great article very informative been by there million times never noticed it-will stop and enjoy next time -Thanks

patrick Mar 26, 2023 05:05 PM
History of the La Arcada Cannon

Interesting. Until the recent edhat photo, I was oblivious to that cannon, despite having walked past it hundreds of times!

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