Colonel T.T. Wright of Nashville, known as the father of the Columbia Arsenal, first suggested its location to Congressman W. C. Whitthorne. Whitthorne pursued the suggestion until the act which created the facility was approved May 10, l888, and signed by President Grover Cleveland.

The government spared no labor nor expense in developing and landscaping the property. The U. S. Corps of Engineers and architects concentrated their skills on this project. They laid out drives and walks, graded parade grounds, included flower beds, shrubbery, impressive entrances and even a bubbling fountain. The whole of the property, some sixty-seven acres was enclosed by an iron fence built upon a foundation of the same Bowling Green stone which had been used for the four major buildings. The cost of this fence ran over $20,000. The remaining five buildings were of brick. The overall cost of the project ran well over $500,000, a princely sum in those days. Since the property was outside Columbia city limits water came from a dug well

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