Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Benicia in Solano County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

1849 - Benicia Arsenal – 1964

 
 
1849 - Benicia Arsenal – 1964 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, February 20, 2009
1. 1849 - Benicia Arsenal – 1964 Marker
Inscription. On this historic site for more than a century military history was written. The loyalty, courage, and devotion of the military and the civilian who served their country here furnished material for a brilliant page in the saga of the far west. What we say here – will like autumn leaves, soon fall and fade away. What they did here will live forever. As the final curtain falls on the 115th anniversary of the founding of Benicia Arsenal, a grateful nation salutes you.
 
Erected 1964 by The Historic Landmarks Committee of the Native Sons of the Golden West and Benicia Parlor No.89, Native Sons of the Golden West. Marker dedicated at Benicia Arsenal California, March 31, 1964. (Marker Number 176.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Native Sons/Daughters of the Golden West marker series.
 
Location. 38° 2.858′ N, 122° 8.361′ W. Marker is in Benicia, California, in Solano County. Marker is at the intersection of Jefferson Street and Adams Street, on the right when traveling east on Jefferson Street. Click for map. Marker is located at the main gate of the port area. Marker is in this post office area: Benicia CA 94510, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker
1849 - Benicia Arsenal – 1964 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, February 20, 2009
2. 1849 - Benicia Arsenal – 1964 Marker
, measured as the crow flies. Gen. Quandt Lane (approx. 0.3 miles away); Commandant's Home (approx. 0.3 miles away); Clock Tower (approx. 0.4 miles away); Camel Barns (approx. half a mile away); Benicia Barracks Site (approx. 0.6 miles away but has been reported missing); 1854 – Saint Paulís Episcopal Church – 1954 (approx. one mile away); Saint Paul's Episcopal Church (approx. one mile away); World War I Memorial (approx. one mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Benicia.
 
Regarding 1849 - Benicia Arsenal – 1964. This site was designated as California Registered Historical Landmark No. 176 on March 6, 1935.
Statement of Significance:
Captain Charles P. Stone, with 21 enlisted men, established Benicia Arsenal as an ordnance depot in August 1851. The first building, a small wooden powder magazine, was erected in September 1851. Between 1853 and 1863, Congress authorized $550,000 to be spent on the establishment, and some 15 stone and frame buildings were constructed. The arsenal was first called 'California Ordnance Depot,' then 'Benicia Arsenal Depot,' and finally, in the spring of 1852, 'Benicia Arsenal.' It played an important role in crises such as the Indian wars. Some of its original buildings are in use today. Descendants of the men who established Benicia Arsenal are still
The Benicia Barracks image. Click for more information.
By Syd Whittle, February 20, 2009
3. The Benicia Barracks
Marker base is located at 711 Hillcrest Avenue. Marker is missing.
Click for more information.
living in Benicia and other parts of California.


Thi site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 7, 1976.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Posts at Benicia. (Submitted on February 20, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.)
2. Benicia Arsenal. (Submitted on February 20, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.)
3. The Benicia Chamber of Commerce – History of Benicia. Benicia Arsenal: From 1849 to 1964, the Benicia Arsenal housed millions of pounds of ammunition and explosives. Now it's home to some of the Bay Area's successful artists and craftpersons. In 1849 Benicia's founders gave 345 acres of land near the Carquinez Strait to the Army. In 1850 the Arsenal became the first ordinance supply depot on the West Coast, supplying equipment and munitions for conflicts from the Civil War through Korean War. The federal government decided to close the base in 1960 and in 1964 the Army turned the Arsenal over to the City of Benicia. The Arsenal became the hub of Benicia industry. Some of its large warehouses were used to store goods and some were converted to machine shops (Submitted on February 20, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.) 

4. A drawing of the Benicia Arsenal, circa 1877. (Submitted on February 21, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.)
 
Additional comments.
Camel Barns image. Click for more information.
By Syd Whittle, February 20, 2009
4. Camel Barns
The camel barns served to house a herd of camels to be used in the western deserts.
Click for more information.

1. The Military Role
For over 100 years the military was a dominate presence in Benicia, strongly influencing the economic and social life of the community. Established in 1851, the Arsenal stored powder and weapons and furnished arms and material to survey parties and interior forts. It dispatched Western troops to the Civil War and Spanish-American War, and served as Pacific Coast Ordinance Headquarters during World Wars I and II and the Korean conflict. Activities gradually declined until the government finally ordered the closure of the Arsenal in March 1964.
Source: Historic Benicia Walking Tour Brochure.
    — Submitted February 20, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.

 
Categories. Military
 
The Guard House 1872 - The Third for the Post image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, February 20, 2009
5. The Guard House 1872 - The Third for the Post
An earlier Guard House to the north was the setting for the trial of a young lieutenant charged with a minor offense. His name was Ulysses S. Grant. Source: Historic Benicia Walking Tour brochure.
The Guard House - 1872 image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, February 20, 2009
6. The Guard House - 1872
The Guard House 1872 - The Third for the Post image. Click for full size.
7. The Guard House 1872 - The Third for the Post
Marker (seen in photo) Inscription:

Guard House
Built in 1872
This is the third guard house built on the former arsenal grounds. It is pointed out primarily because the first guard house, built in 1852, was the setting of the trial of Second Lieutenant Ulysses S. Grant later President of the United States, charged with a minor infraction of military regulations. The rear portion of the building housed the military fire equipment.
[Marker placed by Benicia Industries, Inc]

Photo Source: Library of Congress
Historic American Buildings Survey
The Clock Tower image. Click for more information.
By Syd Whittle, February 20, 2009
8. The Clock Tower
The first clock tower had two towers, but when rebuilt after an explosion, only one tower was replaced.
Click for more information.
Benicia Arsenal Directional Sign on West Military Street. image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, February 20, 2009
9. Benicia Arsenal Directional Sign on West Military Street.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 2,336 times since then and 154 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   4. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   5, 6. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   7. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   8, 9. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement