SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The historic arsenal inside the Springfield Armory is now under the care of the National Park Service.
Before that change, it was under the care of the U.S. Army.
Founded by George Washington, the armory served as a manufacturing center for military firearms from 1777 to 1968. It was closed and then established as a historic site by congress in 1974.
The armory’s museum boasts the world’s largest collection of military small arms along with more than 1,000 artifacts including an old gun organ gun rack that inspired Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to write the poem, The Arsenal at Springfield.
“General Washington established The Arsenal at Springfield and played a very important part in the history of the world whether it was the Springfield rifle or the Garand rifle,” Rep. Richard Neal told 22News.
“This really means that the collection is going to stay here and that we can continue to tell the amazing story of the Springfield armory here on site,” Alex MacKenzie, Springfield Armory Curator said.
There are more than 5,000 weapons at the armory museum.
The National Park Service has been unofficially taking care of the collection for the past 40 years.