Civil War Arsenal
Governor Oliver Perry Morton established Indiana’s first military arsenal in 1861 to provide Union troops with munitions. Originally located at Colonel Herman Strum’s gunpowder factory near the State House in downtown Indianapolis, the location raised concerns from politicians and citizens alike over how close the potentially dangerous operation’s site was to the heart of Indianapolis. The arsenal was moved to the far eastside of Indianapolis in 1863 after the federal government provided funds for construction of a permanent arsenal. By 1865, the arsenal tower was completed and troops made available to help produce and store heavy artillery, lighter arms, and munitions. The arsenal was maintained by the U.S. government until 1903, when facilities like it were no longer considered useful for military needs. Winona Technical College purchased the property in 1904 and now is the home of Arsenal Technical High School, part of Indianapolis’ public school system. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.