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  • Writer's pictureMichael T. Berger, MBA

Inside410 Historical Marker Love - Site of United States San Antonio Arsenal

These markers surround us because we live in a community steeped in history and culture. We are sometimes so inundated with what we have in front of us that we end up not taking a minute to enjoy the past that has so enriched our lives and gives our city such a unique and wonderful spirit.

Marker Text:

Originally housed at the Alamo, the arsenal was established at this location in 1858. The facility initially included an office building, magazine, and commander’s quarters. A portion of the San Pedro Acequia (ca. 1730) carried water across the property. During the Civil War (1861-65) the arsenal was used by the Confederacy. Returned to U.S. Army command after the war, the arsenal supplied ordnance to military outposts within the Department of Texas. During this period a stable and storehouse were erected. Additional buildings were constructed in 1916 and 1933. The arsenal was closed in 1949. The complex was renovated in 1984-85 to provide headquarters for H·E·B a regional supermarket company founded 1905 Kerrville, Texas.

Site of United States San Antonio Arsenal Marker

SAN ANTONIO ARSENAL. The San Antonio Arsenal was founded in 1859 to furnish arms and munitions to the frontier forts in Texas. During the Civil War the twenty-one-acre reservation was occupied by Confederate forces and the supplies were used for the Confederate war effort. After the war the United States Army once again took possession of the complex, and over the course of the next half century it was gradually enlarged; by the end of World War I the arsenal comprised thirty-eight buildings. During both world wars it served as a major supply depot. The volume of operations reached its height during World War II, when it shipped more than 337,000,000 pounds of ammunition. The arsenal was closed in 1949, although its buildings continued to be used as federal government offices. In 1972 two acres and three buildings were transferred to the city of San Antonio to be used as parkland under the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Outdoor Recreation. Several of the remaining buildings were torn down. In 1985 H-E-B bought the remaining ten acres on the bank of the San Antonio River and remodeled the existing structures for the grocery company's corporate headquarters.

Site of United States San Antonio Arsenal Marker (wide view north along San Antonio River)

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