Springfield Armory National Historic Site

Springfield Armory National Historic Site 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 landscapes.
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Today is National Trails Day!Every year on June 6th, we celebrate our nation's beautiful scenic and historic trails acro...
06/06/2020

Today is National Trails Day!

Every year on June 6th, we celebrate our nation's beautiful scenic and historic trails across the country. Trails have traditionally been places of recreation and respite. Today, they are also places of learning and understanding. In light of recent events, National Trails Day has focused more on conversation this year.

The National Park Service highlights many sites dedicated to remembering the struggles our nation has with issues of race, equity, and systemic violence. This includes sites like the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail in Alabama. Check out other trails on the NPS website here: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/nationaltrailssystem/index.htm

If your'e looking for a trail to hike today close to home, check out the New England National Scenic Trail - NET. Starting from Guilford, Connecticut at Long Island Sound, the trail takes you through the Connecticut River Valley, over the highlands of the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts, and all the way to the border with New Hampshire as you traverse trails first blazed by New England's First Peoples centuries before colonization. #NationalTrailsDay #RecreateResponsibly

Wanna know about other trails in your area? Check out this guide of popular trails from the Massachussetts Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club: http://ow.ly/HVkd50A03fh

Photo: Photo of the Metacomet Trail (Part of the NET) in Southington, CT by Steven Schiller.

05/29/2020
Firearm Friday - May 29, 2020

It's Firearm Friday! This time it's from the museum!

Join our curator Alex MacKenzie as he answers questions from last week's video and does a deep dive into the early versions of the Trapdoor rifle with the collections at Springfield Armory NHS. We're so happy to come to you from the Armory! Enjoy!

On this Memorial Day we honor the memory of those who sacrificed their lives in service to our country.
05/25/2020

On this Memorial Day we honor the memory of those who sacrificed their lives in service to our country.

Not only is Springfield Armory National Historic Site committed to preserving the history of the armory, but we are also...
05/11/2020

Not only is Springfield Armory National Historic Site committed to preserving the history of the armory, but we are also committed to protecting the natural environment around the armory grounds.

One initiative that we at the armory are passionate about is the protection of local pollinators. Pollinators, including bees and butterflies, are in sharp decline due to the use of pesticides, habitat destruction, pollution, climate change and competition between native and invasive species.

At Springfield Armory National Historic Site, we are working to build nesting habitat where pollinators can not only survive, but also thrive. Two years ago, on the hillside behind the armory, we planted 2 acres of a diverse mix of 100% native North American plants. These plants provide critical nectar that pollinators need, as well as place they can live and even stay through winter.

Last week, Ranger Susan installed a package of honeybees in their new hive on our historic grounds. These bees will be able to gather pollen from the newly planted native plants as well as the community gardens in Springfield.

Join us in the near future as our certified beekeeper, Ranger Susan, will be offering educational programs about pollinators and the Springfield Armory's newest workers - honeybees!

05/08/2020
Firearm Friday - ‘Beautility’: The Colt 1851 Navy with Ranger Amy

It's Friday! And for us at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site, that means it's Firearm Friday!
Today we have Ranger Amy presenting the Colt 1851 Navy. Samuel Colt's firearm was a thing of beauty. And when compared to a popular device that most of us use today, you can start to see the similarities in how products get crafted, marketed, and sold.
Enjoy!

On this day, April 30, 1968 the American flag atop the Springfield Armory was lowered for the last time. After nearly tw...
04/30/2020

On this day, April 30, 1968 the American flag atop the Springfield Armory was lowered for the last time. After nearly two centuries of continuous production of rifles and muskets used by America's armed forces in every war in the nation's history, the armory closed its gates and fell silent. Begun as a major arsenal under the authority of General George Washington early in the Revolutionary War, the first national armory began manufacturing muskets in 1794. Within decades, Springfield Armory had perfected pioneering manufacturing methods that were critical to American industrialization. The Springfield Armory was reopened in 1978 as Springfield Armory National Historic Site. And to this day, the men and women of the National Park Service continue to preserve the history of this place, and tell the stories of those who innovated, worked, and lived here.

Thank you Mike!Mike has been volunteering for Springfield Armory National Historic Site for about 4 ½ years. As you can ...
04/24/2020

Thank you Mike!

Mike has been volunteering for Springfield Armory National Historic Site for about 4 ½ years.

As you can see from the picture below, Mike goes all out when volunteering. And while you won't always see him dressed in full uniform, like he is in this picture from Armory Day, he is certainly always ready to greet you with a warm smile.

Mike enjoys being linked to an important U.S. historic site and that enjoyment is clear in his interactions with visitors as well as rangers. With his sharp wit and vast knowledge of American history and politics, Mike always has an enlightening and interesting story to share.

Thanks Mike for everything you do to help make the Springfield Armory a special place!

04/24/2020
Firearm Friday - J.S. McConnell's Rifle with Ranger Susan

This Firearm Friday, Ranger Susan is presenting one of the firearms from the Springfield Armory that has been personalized by the soldier who wielded it. The stock of this particular civil war musket has been carved by J.S. McConnell to show who he was and what battles he participated in. Enjoy!

Thank you Roger!Roger has been volunteering for Springfield Armory National Historic Site for four years. Roger's dedica...
04/23/2020

Thank you Roger!

Roger has been volunteering for Springfield Armory National Historic Site for four years. Roger's dedication and love for the armory shows through his actions. Not only is Roger an active volunteer in the museum, greeting visitors as they enter, but he is also on the board of the Friends of Springfield Armory National Historic Site. On top of that, Roger creates the newsletter for the Coltsville National Historical Park in Hartford, CT.

Roger loves sharing the history of the Springfield Armory with visitors. He will always jump at an opportunity to share his knowledge, and he thoroughly enjoys answering questions about history. You can always tell when a visitor asks an interesting question, because Roger's eyes will light up as he answers.

Thank you Roger for all that you have done and continue to do for the Springfield Armory as well as Coltsville National Historical Park!

Thank you Rick!Rick has been volunteering for Springfield Armory National Historic Site for 2 ½  years. After retiring, ...
04/22/2020

Thank you Rick!

Rick has been volunteering for Springfield Armory National Historic Site for 2 ½ years. After retiring, Rick wanted to give back to the nation that he loves through volunteer work, and he found that one of the greatest parts of the United States is our National Parks.

Rick has volunteered at Jewel Cave National Monument in Custer South Dakota, Acadia National Park in Maine, and now we're proud to work with him at the Springfield Armory.

If you visit the Armory while Rick is volunteering, you will undoubtedly be greeted with a warm smile and a hearty welcome. Rick does his best to ensure every person's visit to Springfield Armory is as pleasant and informative as possible. Rick's hospitality and knowledge of armory history have helped make so many visits to the Springfield Armory more special.

Thank you Rick, for continuing to contribute to an amazing and welcoming experience!

Springfield Armory National Historic Site's cover photo
04/21/2020

Springfield Armory National Historic Site's cover photo

Thank you Carl!Carl has been volunteering his time at Springfield Armory National Historic Site for six years. Carl was ...
04/21/2020

Thank you Carl!

Carl has been volunteering his time at Springfield Armory National Historic Site for six years. Carl was born and raised here in Springfield and has an extensive knowledge of Springfield and Armory history.

The tenacity with which Carl dives into research is unmatched, and he is overjoyed when he can share his knowledge with visitors. When you visit the Springfield Armory, Carl will gladly show you around the museum, or you can join one his tours of the armory grounds or water shops.
You'll also find Carl giving presentations in the museum about a variety of historic firearms, and the historic fence that surrounded the Springfield Armory.

On top of all the great work Carl does for the public, he also goes above and beyond behind the scenes. Whenever new park rangers join the Armory staff, Carl's knowledge of the Springfield Armory and the surrounding area proves instrumental in getting them up to speed and ready to serve the public.

Thank you, Carl, for everything you do!

04/20/2020
Ranger Luke Presents: A Patriot's Rebellion

In honor of Patriot's Day, enjoy this video program from Ranger Luke! The program, titled A Patriot's Rebellion, tells the story of Daniel Shays and the Regulators.

In 1786-1787, the people of Massachusetts rose up against the state government because of unfair taxes, debts, and laws. Led in part by a former officer in the Continental Army, Daniel Shays, this uprising, which became known as Shays’ Rebellion, even prompted Thomas Jefferson to express the view that "a little rebellion now and then is a good thing.”

Check out the video below to see how this rebellion started, how it ended, and what impact it had on the creation of the U.S. Constitution. Enjoy!

#VirtualPatriotsDay
#MinuteManNHP
#FindYourPark

Thank you Mike!Mike has been volunteering for Springfield Armory National Historic Site for two years. Whenever Mike hel...
04/20/2020

Thank you Mike!

Mike has been volunteering for Springfield Armory National Historic Site for two years. Whenever Mike helps at the armory, he jumps at every opportunity to share his love of history and firearms (especially the M1 Garand) with visitors.

You’ll often see Mike dressed in a full WWII soldier uniform as he explains the parts and mechanisms of the M1 Garand Rifle. You can even see one of these presentations in our video section here on Facebook!

If you've had the pleasure of speaking with Mike at the armory, you'll understand how much he loves sharing history with visitors.

Thank you for everything you do (M1) Mike!

#Volunteer #NPS #VIP

Thank you Steve!Steve has been volunteering for Springfield Armory National Historic Site since November 2019. Though he...
04/19/2020

Thank you Steve!

Steve has been volunteering for Springfield Armory National Historic Site since November 2019. Though he is one of the newer volunteers at the armory, Steve has dived headfirst into armory history and has enthusiastically embraced his role in helping visitors.

Steve is a life long fan of the National Park Service, and an avid history buff - be sure to ask him about Henry Knox! He fits in wonderfully with the Springfield Armory family and we look forward to reuniting once we reopen.

Not only does Steve give his time helping out at the armory, but he also volunteers as a mentor and Read Aloud volunteer at Springfield Public Schools, and as a driver for Rachel's Table food delivery service.

Thank you for everything you do Steve!

#Volunteer #NPS #VIP

Happy National Volunteer Week!April 19th starts National Volunteer Week, where each year we celebrate volunteers and the...
04/19/2020

Happy National Volunteer Week!

April 19th starts National Volunteer Week, where each year we celebrate volunteers and their contributions to parks across the country. 2020 is a special year because we are celebrating the 50 year anniversary of the Volunteers In Parks (VIP) Program. These VIPs work side-by-side with our park staff to help preserve our nations most precious national treasures. Keep your eyes peeled to social media all week as we digitally share the amazing contributions of the people who help make our parks possible. #Volunteer #NPS #VIP

We at the Springfield Armory are excited, because today kicks off National Volunteer Week! Across the National Park Serv...
04/19/2020

We at the Springfield Armory are excited, because today kicks off National Volunteer Week! Across the National Park Service last year, more than 279,000 volunteers collectively contributed more than 6.5 million hours of volunteer service.

We are so grateful for all the amazing work our volunteers-in-parks (VIPs) do, and we really couldn't do what we do without them. Here at the armory, we have the privilege of working alongside some of the best volunteers in the business and every day this week we would like to give a shout-out to one of them.

Stay tuned to our page this week to hear a little more about some of the volunteers of Springfield Armory. And if they've helped you during your visit, feel free to send them a message of thanks in the comments!

#Volunteer #NPS #VIP

04/18/2020
Alaska Bear Cam - Lower Brooks River, Katmai National Park | Explore.org

Today at the Springfield Armory, we were planning to have a guest presentation from Stacey Schmeidel about her summer as a volunteer in Katmai National Park and Preserve.

The program, titled "My Summer in the Kingdom of Bears" is an amazing look at bears in the wild, and what they can teach us about motherhood, workplace behavior, and resilience.

While we did have to cancel this program, we are looking forward to rescheduling with Stacey later this year. In the meantime, check out the link below to see some highlights of the Katmai bears in action!

Currently the bears are hibernating, but come mid-to-late June they will be back at Brooks Camp, just in time for the world's largest salmon run! In the highlights below you can see the bears eating, playing, wrestling and just being bears on 10 different web cams in Katmai National Park. Enjoy!

https://explore.org/livecams/brown-bears/brown-bear-salmon-cam-lower-river

#COVID19, #wereallinthistogether, #flattenthecurve

This live Alaskan Bear Cam is located at where lower Brooks River meets the Naknek Lake and is a favorite place for Brown Bear mothers and their cubs.

April 18th starts National Park Week! National Park Week is a presidentially proclaimed time dedicated to appreciating t...
04/18/2020

April 18th starts National Park Week!

National Park Week is a presidentially proclaimed time dedicated to appreciating the wonderful things National Parks do for us. Keep your eyes peeled to our social media pages as we digitally celebrate all the wonderful experiences and learning opportunities we have with National Parks. #NPS

04/17/2020
Firearm Friday - M14 with Ranger Scott

Continuing with Firearm Friday, we have Ranger Scott presenting the M14! Though the Springfield Armory may currently be closed, we are still passionate about the history of firearms, and we will do all that we can to bring that history to you, even if it's from our own homes! Enjoy!

#COVID19, #wereallinthistogether, #flattenthecurve

Thanks for your enthusiastic responses to and suggestions for Firearm Friday!  We’ll continue to develop content; you ke...
04/13/2020

Thanks for your enthusiastic responses to and suggestions for Firearm Friday! We’ll continue to develop content; you keep your comments flowing. Here's our current schedule:

April 17: The M14, Scott Gausen, Education Specialist

*Monday. In recognition of Patriots’ Day*
April 20: A Patriot’s Rebellion, Luke Ahrens, Park Ranger

April 24: Finding J. S. McConnell, Susan Ashman, Park Ranger

May 1: The Krag, Mike Sikora, Volunteer In Parks

#COVID19, #wereallinthistogether, #flattenthecurve

04/10/2020
Firearm Friday - M1 Garand Rifle with M1 Mike!

While the Springfield Armory may be closed, we can still bring the largest collection of US Military small arms in the world straight to you through the power of social media! Starting today we’ll be resurrecting a series of Facebook posts that some of our long-time followers might recognize - “Firearm Friday!”

This Firearm Friday, we have a special presentation from one of our dedicated volunteers, Mike Sikora. Mike loves and misses the armory so much, that he wanted to reach out to all our visitors at home and share his knowledge of the M1 Garand Rifle. We don't call him "M1 Mike" for nothing! Enjoy!

#COVID19, #wereallinthistogether, #flattenthecurve

04/06/2020
Dancing Rangers

As we "socially distance" what are you longing for most right now?

We're dreaming of dancing with our work family and friends. Until we're together again, be safe, be well and enjoy this video from August 17, 2019 of the Bad News Jazz & Blues Orchestra performing at Springfield Armory National Historic Site.

#COVID 19, #wereallinthistogether, #flattenthecurve

March 22 is World Water Day! Since 1993, World Water Day has been used to celebrate water and raise awareness of the bil...
03/22/2020

March 22 is World Water Day!
Since 1993, World Water Day has been used to celebrate water and raise awareness of the billions of people around the world without access to safe water.

Here at Springfield Armory National Historic Site, we are highlighting how water was an integral part of Armory operations since it was first established.

When the armory was established in 1794, it required a significant power source. By the year 1798, two buildings were completed along the mill river, about one mile south of the hill shops. These were known as the water shops.
The water shops were able to harness the reliable flow of the Mill River to turn metal water wheels which powered machines like trip hammers, polishing discs, and grindstones. As time went on and new technologies were invented, the operations at the water shops were updated. The water shops consolidated from three locations to just one to improve efficiency, and they were able to incorporate steam power and eventually electrical power.

The water shops shut down all operation with the closing of the armory in 1968, and the buildings have been converted to a privately owned site. However, visitors are still welcome to view the exterior of the old water shops, which is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Though the water shops are no longer actively used to produce firearms for the U.S. Army, the Mill River continues its never-ending flow through Springfield, reminding us of the many ways in which water affects our lives.

Address

1 Armory Sq
Springfield, MA
01105-1299

Telephone

(413) 734-8551

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