and was pumped into two 6,000 gallon tanks on the third floor of the manufacturing
building, afterward called "Main". Fire protection was provided by an engine drawn
by six horses.
Although Congressman W. C. Whitthorne obtained the facility for Columbia during the
first administration of President Grover Cleveland, construction actually began during
President Benjamin Harrison's administration. During William McKinley's administration
the arsenal became a training facility and quarters for Spanish-American War troops
until about 1900, when the Chief of Army Ordnance recommended that the Arsenal be
closed. In August of 1901 twelve train carloads of arms, ammunition and machinery
were shipped to Rock Island, Illinois. After the war the arsenal was declared surplus
property and influential people within the state sought an adaptive use for the buildings
and grounds and the promotion of a military school began. In June 1904 Company K, 16th
Infantry formerly abandoned the arsenal and the property was received by the school.