What is "Ravenna Arsenal" ?

aztecjim

Active member
Looking at a map of school districts in Ohio I see something in east central Portage County called "Ravenna Arsenal" and in parentheses Not a School District.
It is sandwiched between the Windham and Southeast SDs.
 

clarkgriswold

Well-known member
It was a federal facility for making bombs and explosives for WWII, Korea and Vietnam. It was also used as a military training ground.
 

Purplemojo

Well-known member
It is now a Ohio National Guard training facility: Camp James A. Garfield Joint Military Training Center (Ravenna) and it joins Camp Perry Joint Training Center (Port Clinton) and Camp Sherman Joint Training Center (Chillicothe) as the primary military bases for the Ohio National Guard. There are others, especially as it relates to the Ohio Air National Guard (Rickenbacker, Mansfield, Swanton, Zanesville and Blue Ash). The rest of the Ohio National Guard facilities are Army National Guard Armories.

Ohio National Guard headquarters are located next to the Ohio EMA emergency operation center North of Columbus
 
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Auggie

Well-known member
It might be a good place for a large airport to service long haul direct flights for the Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Columbus markets.
 

Steel Valley FB

Well-known member
44,000 people used to live at the Ravenna Arsenal during its peak. At the time I read that, there were only 400 people living there. There was a grocery store, a movie theater, bars, a post office, and housing inside for all those people when it was fully functional.

What’s interesting to me are the hundreds of mounds well within the facility that are all arranged in rows. The place is massive by the way. But the mounds appeared to be bunkers, each with its own doorway, and each looked to be as big as a house. I used to search for cool things inside there on satellite maps years ago and the mounds always fascinated me. That was 15 or so years ago. I recall looking again one time and everything was blurred out.
 

Purplemojo

Well-known member
It might be a good place for a large airport to service long haul direct flights for the Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Columbus markets.
Rickenbacker, near Columbus, was a large USAF base similar to Wright Pat. The AF closed its operation there and turned the property over to the state. The DoD retained part of it for a USN/USMC training facility, but a big chuck of it was converted to an Ohio Air National Guard base for a refueling wing. The rest of the property was converted to a civilian airport, the Rickenbacker International Airport which handles a lot of freight operation as well as passenger flights. As federal DoD facilities get "Brac'd" they are generally turned over to the states and converted to National Guard facilities (Atterbury is another example over in Indiana) or they are cleaned up for civilian use. Fort Hayes in Columbus, now a Columbus Public School, and the Jefferson Naval Proving Grounds, now mostly a nature preserve in Southern Indiana are other examples.
 
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Qcity

Well-known member
I believe it was located there because of the significant amount of cloud cover here in NE Ohio, which was helpful for it not being spotted from the air .........back in the day before new technology.
 

Purplemojo

Well-known member
I believe it was located there because of the significant amount of cloud cover here in NE Ohio, which was helpful for it not being spotted from the air .........back in the day before new technology.
I have heard that as well. I do not know what meteorological condition would cause that, if true. I've been to CJAG but have not spent enough time there to know if it is true.
 

clarkgriswold

Well-known member
I heard long ago that the Seattle area and NEO were both high in cloud cover days so this makes sense. The other part of that was that it had an impact on suicide rates (in conjunction with being a Cleveland sports fan).
 

Purplemojo

Well-known member
Camp Perry near Port Clinton has always been a Ohio National Guard facility. It was started after the Spanish American war when it was determined that Americans had little familiarity with firearms. The range is one of the longest in the world with the impact area out on the open waters of Lake Erie. During WWII it was used as a POW camp and was chosen due to the easy access by sea (by way of the St. Lawrence Sea Way and Lake Erie) and by rail. There were hundreds of POW huts there at one time, but I believe they have all been removed by now and replaced with new cabins. The cabins come in handy during national rifle competitions held by the NRA and the CMP. I believe that the NRA moved to Atterbury for a year or two but are now back.

Little know fact: The impact area is patrolled by Ohio's own naval force, the Ohio Naval Militia, consisting of about 30 seamen and two patrol boats.

 

Auggie

Well-known member
Camp Perry near Port Clinton has always been a Ohio National Guard facility. It was started after the Spanish American war when it was determined that Americans had little familiarity with firearms. The range is one of the longest in the world with the impact area out on the open waters of Lake Erie. During WWII it was used as a POW camp and was chosen due to the easy access by sea (by way of the St. Lawrence Sea Way and Lake Erie) and by rail. There were hundreds of POW huts there at one time, but I believe they have all been removed by now and replaced with new cabins. The cabins come in handy during national rifle competitions held by the NRA and the CMP. I believe that the NRA moved to Atterbury for a year or two but are now back.

Little know fact: The impact area is patrolled by Ohio's own naval force, the Ohio Naval Militia, consisting of about 30 seamen and two patrol boats.

It is not easy access via the seaway, Niagara Falls is up stream. They probably came via rail.
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
It is not easy access via the seaway, Niagara Falls is up stream. They probably came via rail.
down stream

The canal bypassing the Falls was built in the early 1800s. The Erie Canal system was also in place. It's possible they were also referring to access by water. In the WWII era though, rail seems the only reasonable means.
 
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eastisbest

Well-known member
During WWII it was used as a POW camp and was chosen due to the easy access by sea (by way of the St. Lawrence Sea Way and Lake Erie) and by rail.
You're kidding me aren't you? The St. Lawrence Seaway is not the St. Lawrence River. It has a canal and locks that take seagoing ships around the Falls. Its only been open since 1959 and much of it was in place before WWII.


Chill. Railing (lol) the difference between the Seaway and the River is pedantic . A mild correction would have sufficed.

All he said was it's not easy access by "seaway," and that would be correct. Nor were the far majority of camps easily accessible by water route. 🤷 The location choice was often based on where labor was needed. 700 camps.



From a wiki on German POWs
the comfort of the Pullman cars that carried them to their prison camps amazed the Germans,[16]: 32, 70  as did the country's large size and undamaged prosperity.[18]
 
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Purplemojo

Well-known member
Chill. Railing (lol) the difference between the Seaway and the River is pedantic . A mild correction would have sufficed.

All he said was it's not easy access by "seaway," and that would be correct. Nor were the far majority of camps easily accessible by water route. 🤷 The location choice was often based on where labor was needed. 700 camps.



From a wiki on German POWs
I didn't think I was particularly harsh. If I was I am sorry. As far as rail is concerned, yes, they did use rail, but, they did not cross the ocean by rail. They did so by boat and to take a ship directly to the camp was more efficient and less risky than to have them disembark to transfer to rail.

By the way, I understand that most of the POWs were Italian, not German, and often they were furloughed in order to help the farmers whose son's were overseas fighting get their crops in. A little romance would spark up from time to time with the farmer's daughters and many of the POWs asked to stay after the war.
 
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eastisbest

Well-known member
I didn't think I was particularly harsh. If I was I am sorry. As far as rail is concerned, yes, they did use rail, but, the did not cross the ocean by rail. They did so by boat and to take a ship directly to the camp was more efficient and less risky than to just keep them aboard ship until they arrive.

By the way, I understand that most of the POWs were Italian, not German, and often they were furloughed in order to help the farmers whose son's were overseas fighting get their crops in. A little romance would spark up from time to time with the farmer's daughters and many of the POWs asked to stay after the war.
The countries of origin would be an interesting tid bit. I knew the fact many of the POWs worked fields and factories. Makes sense a few would have found a squeeze.

Traveling to and living in camps was probably a whole lot less dangerous than the ship ride over. How's a u-boat to know what boat has what?
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
Regardless of how they arrived, Niagara Falls would not have been an obstacle. The Welland Canal bypasses the falls.
We're talking WWII. A slow route is an obstacle. A slow route for POWs is a danger in waiting. They'd have taken the train. Auggie's comment was solid IMO.
 

Auggie

Well-known member
Sorry for taking this down a sideways path.

Here are some creepy images from the place, photographs love this kind of sheet:

IMG_0207.jpg


IMG_0216.jpg


ghows-OH-f1eb5cd4-e1d1-45f5-a5d3-fffdd6855ff3-151e577d.jpeg
 

cabezadecaballo

Well-known member
Aren’t there people still stationed there? I think I recall seeing activity there driving by a few years ago. If so, they must have quarters there. Or, has that changed?
There might be internment camps for parents of children that resist the Alphabet Mafia or Black Racism in public schools, depending upon who you listen to. I've not had sufficient interest in the topic to sort out the BS, tbh.

I just know that it is an enormous tract of land on the edge of rural counties, essentially fallow, and that there is a lottery to get a pass to deer hunt in there every year.
 

irish_buffalo

Well-known member
Camp Perry near Port Clinton has always been a Ohio National Guard facility. It was started after the Spanish American war when it was determined that Americans had little familiarity with firearms. The range is one of the longest in the world with the impact area out on the open waters of Lake Erie. During WWII it was used as a POW camp and was chosen due to the easy access by sea (by way of the St. Lawrence Sea Way and Lake Erie) and by rail. There were hundreds of POW huts there at one time, but I believe they have all been removed by now and replaced with new cabins. The cabins come in handy during national rifle competitions held by the NRA and the CMP. I believe that the NRA moved to Atterbury for a year or two but are now back.

Little know fact: The impact area is patrolled by Ohio's own naval force, the Ohio Naval Militia, consisting of about 30 seamen and two patrol boats.

Have seen the Ohio Naval Militia up close. :ROFLMAO:

You can drive around at Camp Perry. Some cool stuff to see. Looked like it was a bustling place 1920-1960ish.
 
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