Staff and reenactors at The Alamo are shown with a cannon commissioned by Gillmor Ordnance of Old Fort. The custom cannon’s bronze barrel weighs 675 pounds, and its oak carriage weighs 800 pounds. (Photo courtesy of Gillmor Ordnance)


OLD FORT — A bronze-barreled cannon made in northwest Ohio is now guarding The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.

Bob Gillmor, owner of Gillmor Ordnance in the small town of Old Fort in Seneca County, was commissioned to make the famous mission its first bronze-barreled cannon. Gillmor says it took about six months to craft the cannon, which has a 675-pound bronze barrel and an 800-pound oak carriage. The carriage rests on 5-foot wheels.

He shipped the cannon this week in a “great big box,” and says The Alamo sent a picture back of its staff and a team of reenactors posing with the piece.

The Alamo, now operating as a museum, recently completed a large restoration project and plans to situate the cannon out front to greet visitors. But this is no museum prop: “They’re going to fire it a few times a year,” Alamo officials assured Gillmor.

Producing cannons for high-profile customers is nothing new for Gillmor, whose replica cannons have appeared on battlefields alongside Civil War and Revolutionary War reenactors and on television and film sets.

Gillmor contributed custom cannons to the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning “John Adams” miniseries on HBO in 2008, and worked alongside Tom Cruise and Billy Connolly on the set of the 2003 film “The Last Samurai.” His company has also shipped cannons overseas to Saudi Arabia and New Zealand.

Gillmor recently sent a quote to a Plymouth, Massachusetts, agency seeking a 1550s-era cannon for its replica Mayflower ship. He is currently building a cannon for a historic battlefield in New York.

Gillmor Ordnance offers tours by appointment only. Call 419-355-6977.

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