Charlie Smithgall is opening his Smithgall Foundation for the Preservation of American Artillery -- the largest privately-held collection of Civil War-era cannons in the United States.
The grand opening is this weekend, November 22 through November 24.
The museum will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Drumore Township. Those interested in seeing the exhibit are asked to call the Smithgall Pharmacy (717-397-6218) for the address.
"I picked this weekend because it's Remembrance Day Weekend in Gettysburg, and a lot of the reenactors and artillery people come up," says the former Lancaster city mayor.
Smithgall's arsenal of antique artillery includes more than 90 cannons including a Revolutionary war gun from 1780 to a cannon made in 1895 and used in the Spanish American War. Most of the collection is made up of Civil War-era cannons.
"I've got a Civil War mortar that was on a gun boat called the John Griffin," says Smithgall. "It was used on the Commander's ship at the Battle of Fort Jackson on the Mississippi. On the first day (of the battle) it fired 62 rounds of ammunition. I have all of the records of everything it fired that day and the effects. The navy kept complete records."
Some of the cannons have been featured in major films including "Gettysburg" and "Lincoln."