NoeHill Travels in the American West: California

National Register of Historic Places in Solano County, California

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National Register #76000534
Benicia Arsenal
Adams and Jefferson Streets
Commissioned 1849

Benicia Arsenal covers 440 acres containg 23 contributing buildings. In the 112 years of its existence, it played a major role in United States military installations and in the development of the Western frontier.

Benicia Arsenal began on April 9, 1849, when two companies of the 2nd Infantry set up camp to establish Benicia Barracks.

Benicia Arsenal is also California Landmark 176.

Name Year Address Remarks Sort Address Sort Name
Post Hospital1856Building 1First United States military hospital on the Pacific Coast.B01Post Hospital
Magazine1855Building 2Storehouse for gun powder.B02Magazine
Camel Barn1854Building 7Constructed as a storehouse. Converted in 1863 to stable a herd of camels imported from the Near East in 1856 as an experiment in the transportation of military supplies across the Southwest desert states. Their use proved to be unsatisfactory. In 1863 they were driven to Benicia Arsenal for disposal at public auction on February 26, 1864.B07Camel Barn
Ammunition Shop1856Building 8B08Ammunition Shop
Camel Barn1855Building 9Following the departure of the camels the building was again used as a storehouse. Currently occupied by a wallpaper manufacturing firm.B09Camel Barn
Powder Magazine1857Building 10B10Powder Magazine
Noncommissioned Officers' Quarters1868Building 24B24Noncommissioned Officers' Quarters
Officers' Quarters Duplex1874Buildings 25 & 26B25Officers' Quarters Duplex
Officers' Quarters1861Building 27B27Officers' Quarters
Commanding Officer's Home1860Building 28B28Commanding Officer's Home
Storehouse (Clock Tower)1859Building 29First United States military fortress built in the West. Originally three stories with a crenelated roof and two look-out towers. Apertures were designed for howitzers and long loophole windows for musketry. Gutted by fire and explosion in 1912. Restored as a two story building. Large American-made Seth Thomas clock installed on undamaged front tower. Clock was operated by a heavy metal weight on a cable that slowly unwound on a windlass. A crank was used to wind the cable weekly. It was operative as late as June 14, 1967. During its long history, the fortress served as a storehouse, a munitions depot, quarters for enlisted men during the Civil War, a chapel and a National Guard Armory.B29Storehouse (Clock Tower)
Noncommissioned Officers' Quarters1870Building 33B33Noncommissioned Officers' Quarters
Noncommissioned Officers' Quarters1870Building 34B34Noncommissioned Officers' Quarters
Noncommissioned Officers' Quarters1870Building 35B35Noncommissioned Officers' Quarters
Guardhouse1872Building 39B39Guardhouse
Barracks1872Building 45B45Barracks
Shop1862Building 49Demolished.B49Shop
Headquarters Building1870Building 47B47Headquarters Building
Blacksmith Shop1876Building 55B55Blacksmith Shop
Shop1884Building 56B56Shop
Shop1877Building 57B57Shop
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