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Springfield Armory National Historic Site
In western Massachusetts, in Springfield
The nation's first national armory, authorized by President George Washington, was created here in 1794. Fifty-five acres are dotted with original armory buildings, as well as a museum that maintains one of the worlds most extensive and unique collections of small firearms. Also on exhibit are examples of the largest exhibit of experimental and standard military arms in the United States. Displays depict weapons manufacturing processes, with details about their inventors and the women who worked here. The site was authorized in 1974 and established in 1978.
WHAT TO SEE & DO
Touring the museum and grounds, watching film and videos. Facilities: Information booth, indoor interpretive exhibits, museum, self-guided tours. Bookstore. Programs & Events: Exhibits on display year-round. Ranger talks and blank firing demonstrations (Sat. 1:30), firearms storage tours (Tues, Fri., Sat.). National Park Week (late Apr.), Military Encampment (June). Tips & Hints: Go in fall to view the foliage. Busiest June-Aug., least crowded Dec. and Jan.
FEES, HOURS & REGULATIONS
Free. Firearms storage tours $12, maximum 10 people per tour. Leashed pets only. Site and museum open Tues.-Sun. 10-5:30.
HOW TO GET THERE
In Springfield via 1-91, take Broad St. exit to Technical Community College campus on corner of State and Federal Sts. Closest airport: Windsor Locks, CT (17 mi).
Springfield Armory National Historic Site (1 Armory Sq., Springfield, MA 01105, tel. 413/734-8551, fax 413/747-8062). Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau (1441 Main St., Springfield, MA 01103, tel. 413/787-1548 or 800/723-1548, fax 413/ 781-4607).