Is cannonball found in N.Y. yard from the lost Griffon?

Associated Press

Niagara Falls, N.Y. — Is an old cannonball found in a western New York history teacher’s backyard an artifact from a ship built by European explorers more than four centuries ago?

Mike Esposito, a Niagara Falls High School history teacher, things so.

The Niagara Gazette reports that a fence company found the cannonball last summer on his property, located on Cayuga Island on the Niagara River.

In 1679, a French expedition led by Rene Robert Cavelier de la Salle built a sailing ship on the island. To celebrate the Griffon’s completion, the crew fired several shots from a cannon. The Griffon later disappeared in the Great Lakes.

A local historian believes the cannonball is from the Griffon, but Esposito says he’s trying to get other experts to help him determine the artifact’s origin.