Excerpt From Samuel Moore's Memoirs
Just as we learned that two Brimfield fellows, Charles Dell and Max Hayes had been had been sent to Camp Adair, we get this very interesting description of the camp from an older Brimfield “boy” who we know will be glad to see Max and Charlie and can tell them some mighty interesting yarns of Brimfield “way back when.”
To the Brimfield News:
In this time of war I thought you might be interested in what is going on in the Far West.
Corvallis is surely in the limelight. Five miles north of town is Camp Adair, which is said to be the largest in the U. S. A., and three miles is a large bomber base. To give you a comparison as to its size, Camp Adair is larger than Elmwood, Brimfield and half of Jubilee townships. This vast piece of land was covered with farms and ranches and compares favorably with any middle western farm country. This land had been settled in the years of 1840 and 1850 and some of these farms had been owned by three generations.
When the government took over this territory some of the farmers had to vacate within 60 days notice. Then came the contractors with up to date machinery and with over 8000 workmen from every state in the Union. They had to get rid of the farm buildings at once, these buildings valued at $2,000.00 to $10,000.00 a farm when they were first built. The farmers were allowed to take out doors and windows, then the contractors ran cables through the openings, hitched tractors to cables and literally tore the houses to pieces. There were huge fires of houses, barns and outbuildings all over the place.
Then the building started! While the foundations of piers, the sills and joists were being laid, carpenters had the sides and ends of the buildings built flat on the ground. Then along acme a gigantic crane and lifted the sides and ends into place. The roof was made on the ground in the same way and lifted into place with cranes in sections.
Camp Adair is said to accommodate 50,000 soldiers, it was built in 104 days and contains 1800 buildings including 17 churches and 9 theaters [correction: 11 churches and 5 theaters...per Gary Richards]. I attended the opening day for the public and it seemed to me that some of the buildings were an eight of a mile long. It took in the town of Wellsdale and completely erased it off the ground. One mile of the south border on the Cantonment is the north line of the ranch I bought when I first came to Oregon. Little did I think 43 years ago when riding over this out range after my stock that it would be part of the largest and best equipped military camp in the U. S. A. Our quiet college town has had a sudden awakening, with the streets full of uniformed soldiers and officers. We are not unaccustomed toe U. S. uniforms, as the Oregon State Colleges had compulsory military training for all of its male students and they wear the U.S. uniforms.
No one can truly say that Camp Adair was held up by red tape. The big bombers airfield is three miles south of town. It is all very secret but it looks to be over two miles square.
The U.S. Government has taken over half of the main building of our hatchery. The rooms are 50 x 44 feet and the lower room is used for electric welding school, the upper for training in electrical wiring.
Our soldiers are shipped east and the soldiers of the east are shipped west for training. If any Brimfield boys come to Camp Adair drop in and say “Hello.”
Mr. Moore’s two sons are both doing war work—the youngest as a member of the Merchant Marines, somewhere near Australia; the elder teaching mechanical drawing in the government school in Portland, Ore. The above letter was written “while the old Pacific is roaring in my ears, sitting in my little board cottage in the woods by the sea.”
corrections, or suggestions
would be deeply appreciated!
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