Springfield Armory NHS

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In addition to Thursday Doors, I am participating in Linda G. Hill’s Just Jot January. Today’s prompt is “Donut” and was provdied by Liz Husebye Hartmann. Since my doors today are from a short trip with our daughter Faith to a nearby museum, I’m including doors from a place where we begin many of our trips.

When your flight leaves before Dunkin’ Donuts opens, it’s a bad day.

Our daughter Faith took me on a tour of the Springfield Armory National Historic Site for my birthday back in November. When I was in high school, I worked for a manufacturing company that made gun barrels. I was surprised to see how little the process had changed. The machinery I worked with in the early 1970s was certainly more modern, but the production steps were very similar. Much of the information included here is from the Armory’s website.

Forging Arms for the Nation

For nearly two centuries, the U.S. Armed Forces and American industry looked to Springfield Armory for innovative engineering and superior firearms. Springfield Armory National Historic Site commemorates the critical role of the nation’s first armory by preserving and interpreting the world’s largest historic US military small arms collection, along with historic archives, buildings, and landscape

Springfield Armory National Historic Site

Springfield Armory was established in 1777 as a federal arsenal; as an arsenal, firearms that supplied the Continental Army during the American Revolution were stored here. After the Revolution, Springfield Arsenal was officially established as a federal armory where arms could be stored and produced.

In 1794 under the authorization of George Washington. Harpers Ferry, our sister armory, was the second site selected for an armory. Early in the Civil War the arsenal and armory at Harpers Ferry were torched leaving Springfield Armory as the Nation’s only federal armory producing small arms for the Union.

As Springfield Armory underwent the transition from an arsenal to armory it expanded, as it no longer just stored firearms, but manufactured them, as well. Additional buildings were added to the Hill Shops, the Water Shops were consolidated, and development occurred at Federal Square to aid in the production of firearms.

Springfield Armory National Historic Site

I will share photos from the Historic Site again next week, and the some doors from the area around this site in Springfield, Massachusetts. Springfield is about 15 mi (24 km) north of where we live.

I hope you enjoy the photos in the gallery. I also hope that you will spend some time visiting the doors shared by some of the other participants.

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  1. HI Dan, a very interesting post. I didn’t immediately realise what the difference between a arsenal and an armory was, but your post explained. I won’t join in this week as hubby is still in ICU and I just don’t want to go through our holiday pictures right now. Hopefully, by next week, things will be better.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Wow… I can just smell the oils and the sawdust that they sweep the floors with… I love old museums like this one. Our Tehachapi Railroad Depot had that same smell (age) before it burned to the ground. I noticed the wear marks in the concrete in front of that one door… it reminded me of the Depot’s staircase and the dips in the steps that led up to the freight room from the downstairs area. I was privileged to be part of the committee that did the walk-through when the contractor turned the keys to the rebuilt Depot over to the City of Tehachapi. I took the first tread on the steps leading to the freight room and stopped dead in my tracks–the dips were gone–replaced by new wood and ready for the thousands of steps that it would take to make those very familiar grooves in the treads of the stairs. A solemn moment in time when I had to stop and reflect on what used to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In one of the This Old House projects, they featured a side project (as they often do) where a group turned an old Catholic school into Veterans housing. I remember the contractor talking about the dips that were worn into the main stairs. I think they preserved them. Walking through this building, especially the machine display area, you can easily imagine the noise and the smells.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh wow… there’s just something about the ‘feel’ of buildings like this. No idea why but they make me melancholy–sad in a way that they’re now idle with no one to operate the machinery. Goodness… listen to me, would you? LOL I must be a lover of things gone by… for sure I have a soft spot in my heart for old things. Thank you for feeding my soft spot!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • One of the residents in that repurposed school actually attended school in that building. It was quite the homecoming for him. I tried finding the episode, but I think there are two projects where they’ve followed a school-to-housing project.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Some say the first witch trial in the colonies took place in Windsor, CT in 1647. Others point to a trial in Springfield, MA in 1642. It seems an odd thing to argue about. I’m not sure I’d like to have the bragging rights on that. Those dates precede the more famous witch trials in Salem, MA by about 50 years. If context is helpful, both towns lie on the Connecticut River and are about 20 miles apart. I live in between them, but at the time of these trials, our location would have been considered part of Windsor.

      You have an amazing door today!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Teresa. Two friends and I used to walk almost every day to a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts. I’d like to think the exercise and the donuts balanced out. I liked your post. The murals are fun to look at.


  3. Very interesting post Dan. I too love the brickwork and stonework on the armory. The emergency door windows are neat!

    The display of “mishaps” is the highlight of this tour for me. Although I certainly understand the need for the “firearms prohibited” sign, it made me laugh out loud!

    You caught two beautiful shots of Old Glory.

    Snowing here but not heavy……yet!


    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the mishaps and the sign, Ginger. I know some people are less than enthused with firearms, but I thought that display case (and its door) would be a good one to use. The sign made me laugh as we walked in.

      I walked in light snow, then it got heavy, but I think it’s supposed to change to rain.

      I always like it when I can capture the flag in a doors post.

      I hope you have a nice weekend.


  4. […] The Singalila ridge runs north to south, with Nepal lying to the west. The Family recognized a lichen encrusted stone slab as a border marker and took the photo you can see above. The villages are tiny. The whole area is a protected bioreserve, slowly recovering from the intense capitalist assault that was the British empire. People who had lived there earlier continue to have the right to live and utilize the ecosystem, but new settlements are not allowed. We saw little temples, prayer flags in plenty, and a field of chortens protected by a gate. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That emergency exit is so pretty. Can you imagine having to evacuate by climbing up that little two-step? I would be so gentle opening that window–it’s a beauty.
    The shop room reminded me of a Pilates classroom with all the pulleys. Those two photos are my favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They did the outside demonstration as soon as we arrived, so I saw the outside of those exits before the inside. I wasn’t sure how you would exit from a window. When I saw the little steps, it was an ah-ha moment. I also thought how our cats would love that. I’m not sure I want to do Pilates if that’s what it looks like ;-)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the pulley system. I became fascinated with pulley systems decades ago while in Oahu. The ceiling fans in the hotel we stayed in operated by a pulley system- not electricity! Since then I’ve dreamed of having a veranda with fans operated by a pulley system. 😃

    The Mishaps would interest #1 Grandson. He’s still very much into the American Revolution which has led him down the rabbit hole to Pirates! ARG!!! Lately he’s become interested in pistols, and muskets, and all the accoutrements that were required to fire one back then.
    For Christmas Santa and family members 😉 indulged his interests and gave him a powder horn, spyglass, an era period great coat, canteen, ships log book, and cutlass. He has his mom’s old musket she bought when she was a little girl while at Disneyland after riding the ride The Pirates of the Caribbean. 😂 TMI? I’m going to share this post with him and Big Baby Boy both history buffs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those large arched doors are my favorites. When I saw that one on the lading dock, I knew this post was coming. I did choose to avoid some of the weapons displays, as I know some people aren’t interested. As you go through the museum, it is a chronology of how we fought bigger wars and developed better weapons. Good reflection on mankind’s ingenuity, poor reflection on mankind’s logic.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I chose the mishaps because I know some people feel strongly about guns. For me, the museum is a look into the industrial revolution in this country. I wish we didn’t need the product they made, but the ingenuity they showed in making it is amazing.

      I enjoyed your post from Rome, very much.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t know how yesterday morning got away from me! .. but better late than never. Oh the jobs young people do. Mine was a great place for those you enjoy hot, noisy, & dirty – but yours seems worse. Well done showing both sides of the dock door. The up-the-tower shot is my favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You did a great job, Darlene. I’m happy to have you join us. The challenge runs most every week (with a couple weeks off here and there) but you can come and go as you like. You’re always welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You have some beautiful photos and recollections of the armory. I’ve been to several armories on the East Coast, but this one is so bright and beautiful. The arched windows are especially beautiful inside and out. The arched doors look pretty solid. Arms would need to be protected from theft. You’ve had an interesting background and an unusual job as a teen. It added a lot to the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post, Dan, with a load of information. I’ve never been to Springfield, Massachusetts, but I did fire a lot of rounds through a Springfield Rifle. In the Army we were trained with an M14, which was manufactured at Springfield Arms.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So, you have a connection to Springfield after all. A lot of people fired rounds from rifles made here. You were using one of the more modern ones they made. I think my dad carried an M1 in WWII. I am glad they preserved this site.

      Liked by 1 person

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