Built on an island in the Mississippi River between Iowa and Illinois, Rock Island Arsenal sits on nearly 1,000 acres of land. The area was first used by the government in 1816, when Fort Armstrong occupied the area. Toward the end of the 19th century and into modern times, the Army base has been one of the largest producers of armaments for the U.S. Army. The only operating U.S. military foundry, Rock Island Arsenal produces Howitzers and other towed artillery as well as small arms and even aircraft weapons.
Updated: February 12, 2015
There are two major Army installations located in the state of Illinois. Rock Island Arsenal is an island base located just north of Rock Island, Illinois. Charles M. Price Support Center is located east of St. Louis. Both of these installations have been open for many years and are currently still in operation.
Charles M. Price Support Center has been in operation since 1942. It is a satellite base of the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command operation located in Huntsville, Alabama. Many U.S. Army personnel, staff support and families are located on the centers 680 acres of land. With open air and enclosed storage space capabilities, it is one of the largest support centers in the country.
Military families will find the area full of things to see and do. Public, private and Department of Defense schools are all available for use by military children. Many churches of all denominations are located a short distance from the center and many restaurants are available.
Rock Island Arsenal was established in 1862 and is located on an island on the Mississippi River. It is rich in history dating back to 1816 when Fort Armstrong was built. A replica of the original fort buildings are still in existence today.
From 1863 through 1865, Rock Island was used to house Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Over 12,000 Confederate soldiers were interred at Rock Island during this period. Today, the only remaining signs of the prison are the 1,964 grave markers in the graveyard.
There are many things to do and sights to visit while you are at Rock Island Arsenal. The Garrison Museum, Mississippi River Visitor Center and Colonel Davenport Historical Foundation are only a few of the islands attractions. Visitors can also take in the beauty of the area via the Memorial Park which is open 7 days a week from dawn til dusk.
For the military families stationed at Rock Island, there are many choices of living facilities as well as restaurants. Should you decide to take your family into the Town of Rock Island, there are a number of different tourist attractions available. Outdoor activities such as golf courses and an aquatic center are all conveniently located. There are many water activities you can participate in.
School choices range from public to private schools located either in Rock Island, Illinois or on the military installation itself. Children can attend school on base so as to be convenient to your family. All grades are available from kindergarten through high school. Post high school education can be found just a short distance from Rock Island Arsenal.
Rock Island is easily accessible by car via the Moline Bridge. There are a number of highway routes that can be taken in order to reach the base. Speed limits of no greater than 25 mph on the base are strictly enforced as well as cell phone and seat belt laws.