During the War of 1812, Captain Richard Raggett, of the British blockade ship, H.M.S. Spenser, demanded a ransom of $6,000 from the village of Barnstable, or else he would destroy the extensive saltworks owned by Loring Crocker.
Undaunted, Mr. Crocker and the local "Committee of Safety" requested arms from Boston to thwart the British. In response, four cast-iron cannons, supposedly from the ruins of Fort Ticonderoga, were sent forth and mounted in the Common Fields and Salteen Point in Barnstable Harbor. A stand-off occurred, and the British departed empty-handed.
Eventually, the cannons were dismantled and stored in Loring's barn at the corner of Main St. and Mill Way in Barnstable. During the First World War, two of the cannons were melted down for the war effort, and two were given to the court house for display.
Often stolen, and even fired by pranksters on the Fourth of July, these two cannons were permanently cemented in place and the barrels were plugged. They remain today as a tribute to the patriots of Barnstable.
This plaque is presented by the families of John H. Crocker and David L. Crocker, of Barnstable, direct descendants of Loring Crocker.