Go deeper into the history of each park with scholarly articles and essays from Oxford University Press, freely available for the centennial year.
In 1777, Revolutionary War generals George Washington and Henry Knox chose a bluff overlooking Springfield, Massachusetts, strategically located on the Connecticut River and near the route connecting Boston and Albany, as the site of a weapons storage depot. In 1794, President Washington designated the Springfield arsenal as a national armory to manufacture small arms for the U.S. Army. Beginning with muskets, production expanded to include an array of guns, projectiles, and shells. Through the nineteenth century and much of the twentieth, the Springfield Armory was the principal provider of U.S. military weaponry.