I couldn't get to see the Arsenal or Museum last year. I had Illinois drivers license that was not accepted at the gate by the Gatekeeper, but this year was sent to a Visitor Center for a special pass that is good for a year of admittance. All that I had to do was show in DL, fill out a form and get a picture taken for inclusion to present at the gate. After admittance to the Arsenal, the rest of the visit was interesting, informative, and fun.
We passed the National Cemetery and Confederate Cemetery, then a display of heavy artillery, to find the entrance to the museum on the back side of the old stone armory buildings. The museum is free to visit, and besides the walls of guns, and cannons there were informative exhibits of the arsenal's history, family life at the arsenal and the manufacturing methods that were used from the time without electricity to operate the manufacturing machinery. There is a small theater to view 6 different videos of the facility showcasing it's history, varied functions of the arsenal, and methods.
Down the road from the museum is another Visitor Center at Lock and Dam 15 on the Mississippi River. I was fortunate enough to arrive as a tow boat and barges heading through and seeing how they get through the lock was great fun.
I am glad that I have a year long pass to come back again, as 4 hours wasn't enough time.
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