The Karpeles Manuscript Library has won its battle with a local American Legion post over ownership of two cannons flanking the entrance of the library’s building near Tacoma’s Wright Park.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Garold Johnson signed a judgment earlier this month awarding ownership of the cannons to the library and ordering American Legion Post No. 2 to pay $10,000 in damages, said Tom Quinlan, the library’s attorney.
“We’re glad the cannons are on display at the library and that this issue has been resolved with finality,” Quinlan said this week. “It’s a shame it had to go this far.”
Efforts to reach the post’s attorney were unsuccessful.
The entities had been fighting over ownership of the World War II-era guns since February, when the Legionnaires made an early-morning raid on the library and carted off one of the cannons.
American Legion officials contended the cannons belonged to the post, even though the guns have guarded the library’s front entrance since the post sold its building to the Karpeles family more than 20 years ago.
Post officials contended the Army deeded the guns to the post, so the American Legion ultimately was responsible for them.
The library disagreed and took the post to court.
Johnson in April ordered the American Legion to return the cannon to the library while ownership was worked out. The post complied.
The parties negotiated a settlement that Johnson signed Oct. 5.
The order forbids the post or any of its future officers from claiming ownership of the cannons or “otherwise changing the current location of any of said artifact cannons,” court records show.
Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644