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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Springfield in Hampden County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Commanding Officer's House

 
 
Commanding Officer's House Marker, Springfield Armory image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, June 8, 2010
1. Commanding Officer's House Marker, Springfield Armory
Springfield Armory National Historic Site, Springfield, MA
Inscription. Four years after taking command at Springfield Armory in 1841, Maj. James W. Ripley began construction of this residence. When he demolished the existing CO's residence to make room for Main Arsenal, he antagonized the builder of that house, a man with powerful political connections.
Ripley's opponents labeled his new residence a "magnificent mansion,” fueling the controversies that bedeviled him during his entire term at Springfield Armory. He became the subject of various investigations, leading finally to a military court of inquiry. Among the charges were extravagance and waste of government funds for building this house, but in the end he was completely exonerated.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 42° 6.46′ N, 72° 34.951′ W. Marker is in Springfield, Massachusetts, in Hampden County. Marker can be reached from State Street. Touch for map. The marker is beside the walkway leading to the Commanding Officer's House just behind the Main Arsenal building, Springfield Armory National Historic Site. Marker is in this post office area: Springfield MA 01105, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Master Armorer's House (a few steps from this marker); Hay Road
Commanding Officer's House, Springfield Armory National Historic Site image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, June 8, 2010
2. Commanding Officer's House, Springfield Armory National Historic Site
The marker is beside the sidewalk.
(within shouting distance of this marker); Main Arsenal (within shouting distance of this marker); Armory Fence (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Gen. Henry Knox Trail (approx. 0.2 miles away); Shays’ Rebellion (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Gen. Henry Knox Trail (approx. 1.8 miles away); Hessian Encampment (approx. 1.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Springfield.
 
Also see . . .
1. Springfield Armory National Historic Site. (Submitted on June 11, 2010, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.)
2. Brevet Brigadier General James W. Ripley. A biography hosted by the United States Army Ordnance Corps and School. (Submitted on October 2, 2014, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia.) 
 
Additional keywords. Springfield Armory Springfield Arsenal Ripley
 
Categories. GovernmentMilitaryNotable BuildingsNotable Persons
 
Main Arsenal image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, June 8, 2010
3. Main Arsenal
This is the view of the Main Arsenal building from the veranda of the Commanding Officer's House.
Marker Detail - Maj. James W. Ripley image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, June 8, 2010
4. Marker Detail - Maj. James W. Ripley
Maj. James Wolfe Ripley (Born Dec. 10, 1794, Windham County, CT. Died Mar. 15, 1870, at Hartford, Ct.: Aged 76) was Superintendent of the Springfield Armory from April of 1841 to August of 1854 and soon initiated an ambitious building program. The first structure to be completed was the Commanding Officer’s Quarters. He had demolished an earlier Commanding Officer’s House on the site where the new Main Arsenal was to be built. To replace it, he constructed a fine new CO.’s residence, begun in 1845 and completed in 1847. There were many who opposed Ripley’s reforms of the Armory and he faced much controversy during his tenure. Some considered his new residence to be too extravagant. A series of investigations led to a military court of inquiry in which a major complaint was that he was wasting government funds, but Ripley was eventually exonerated. The house is now used as administrative offices for the Springfield Armory National Historic Site.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 11, 2010, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 861 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 11, 2010, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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