Springfield Armory National Historic Site commemorates the critical role Springfield Armory played in the nation's military and industrial history. First created as a military storage depot by the fledgling U.S. Army in 1777, Springfield Armory was authorized by Congress and President Washington to manufacture small arms for the nation's defense in 1794. The Armory was the federal center for the development and manufacture of U.S. military small arms from 1794 until its deactivation in 1968. The park was authorized in 1974 by P.L 93-486 and became established as an NPS unit in 1978. The Springfield Armory was designated a National Historic Landmark (NHL) in 1960 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. Of the 55 acres within the National Historic Site, 20 acres are managed by the National Park Service and 35 are managed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Springfield Technical Community College.
The purpose of Springfield Armory National Historic Site is:
To cooperate with national, state, and local entities, particularly the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, to protect the integrity, character, and historic values of such sites, landscapes and structures within the boundaries of the National Historic Site under non-Federal ownership.
To ensure the integrity and availability of the arms collection in cooperation with the Department of Army.
[Sources: Springfield Armory NHS Enabling Legislation PL93-486 (1974); Senate S.979 Hearings 93-590 (1973), 93-1233 (1974); House Hearings on HR-13157 (1974)]
Did You Know?
Author Charles Dickens toured Springfield Armory’s Hill Shops and Water Shops on his 30th birthday, February 7th, 1842, a year before publication of A Christmas Carol. The first of two visits to America, he and his wife were accompanied by the superintendent and the paymaster. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.