U.S. Armory and Arsenal - Springfield, MA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NorStar
N 42° 06.430 W 072° 34.879
18T E 699979 N 4664506
Quick Description: The Springfield Armory, as the location is now known as, was established by Congress in 1794 and was a major manufacturer of rifles and early machine gun, and now houses several things, including a museum run by the National Park Service.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 7/10/2011 8:34:58 PM
Waymark Code: WMC0DZ
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 2

Long Description:
In Springfield, there is a cluster of buildings that once was the Springfield Armory, or the U.S. Armory and Arsenal as named in the American Guide for Massachusetts.

The guide has this to say about the location:

15. The U.S. Armory and Arsenal (open by permission) occupies a site selected by George Washington and Colonel David Mason of Boston. It was established by Congress in 1794, and the first muskets were manufactured here in 1795. The Civil War brought a great influx of workmen and in 1864 over 3000 men were employed turning out 1000 rifles a day. The Springfield rifle is still made here. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow stopped at the Arsenal on his honeymoon; his wife notices the resemblanceof the tiers of stacked arms to the pipes of an organ, and Longfellow afterward wrote 'The Arsenal at Springfield.'

The Museum (open weekdays except Saturday 8.30-12, 1-4.30) has an excellent collection of small arms. Of especial importance is the old Blanchard lathe, an invention for turning gunstocks.

-- American Guide Series: Massachusetts - A Guide to Its Places and People, p. 365


Today, the Sprinfield Armory and Arsenal no longer manufactures rifles; the building now used for other purposes, including a high-tech industrial park, a technical college, and a museum run by the National Park Service. The Armory was closed in 1968, then designated and reopened as a National Historic Site in 1978.

To get to the museum, from State Street, turn onto Federal Street (west) at traffic light, then turn left through a gate into the complex - it will have a sign for the technical college. Turn left and follow the road, which runs roughly along the fence, to the Main Arsenal building, which is thebuilding with clock faces on the tower. The museum has many interesting artifacts. The lathe mentioned above is there, along with a working model and a video. Other exhibits about manufacturing of rifles is there, as well. On the other side of the museum is an exhibit of all sorts of firearms. A representative stack of rifles is in the center, with a plaque that has Longfellow's poem on it.

Some of the buildings were lost when the college came in. Unforgunately, less care was taken concerning the buildings, many of which dated back to about 1805. Now, the college preserves the remaining buildings and views them as an asset to study.

See the NPS web site for specifics on museum hours.

NPS Web Site:
Visit Site
Book: Massachusetts

Page Number(s) of Excerpt: 365

Year Originally Published: 1937

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