Info on Watervliet Arsenal

May anyone describe/recommend this museum, its size, amount of exhibits, presence of ammo? I am about 2 hours by car away from it, and thinking of going there.

It is less than 30 min from me and I haven’t been there in a few years. They have had a funding problem. But they have remained open although they don’t heat/cool part of it. One of my friends is on the civilian board and I recall him saying this winter that they may close for a couple of months this spring for some renovations. I will contact him for you and relay his info. It is a very nice and informative museum and they have a library/archive that is open to researchers by prior appointment. Security is tighter than it was in past years. I believe you will need a picture ID and be subject to a walk through metal detector. At one point they used dogs on the main gate to sniff your car. I am not sure but I think they now have private contract security and no dogs. If you are an artillery or big bore fan, you should probably see it. When I was a kid they had an open house every year and the public could ride on tanks and play with a variety of Naval and land type big guns. I remember they had a twin 40mm naval gun mount that you could sit in and tweek a rubber control gizmo and traverse or elevate the guns. They put a helmet on the kids head with sound powered phone and shouted directions to 10-12 year olds. They fired blank charges and gave demos of large self propelled guns. Very cool if you are a kid of any age.
The USS Slater (this is a destroyer escort museum)is back at it’s dock space at the Port of Albany for another season. Open from April to November.
As long as you are in the area, it is only 10-15 min. from Watervliet Arsenal.
You should be able to fit both museums into a day trip.

I’ve been by it several times but either it was closed or I had no time to go in. Just from what I could see on the outside, it looked like a neat place to see. Certainly worth a 2 hour drive. Definately call ahead to get the hours of operation first!


Watervliet was established in 1813. Next year is 2013, 200 years. They probably will have some kind of a celebration, maybe re-living tank-riding blank-firing past. May be worth going there next year. By the way, this year is a 100th anniversary of Tobyhanna Army Depot, they will have an open house celebration on June 23, 2012. See the website for details, don’t miss these open-to-public days, they will go the way of the Canadian penny (cent).

Watervliet is absolutely worth the visit, even with a bit of hassle at the gate.
Many great items inside.
As I recall they have some Battleship gun barrels outside along the building.

USS Slater in Albany is a superbly restored WW2 Destroyer Escort. Highly recommend that too!

Go to both, and take the kids, and show us the photos!

I spoke with my friend, a civilian museum board member last evening, They finally got some budget funding last year to do some upgrades and are currently closed. The plan is to be back open June. Check with the web site or call ahead to verify.