Camp Upton, LI, NY - Now Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL)

     Camp Upton was built in 1917 as an induction and training facility for new soldiers who were to fight in World War I. The camp was named after Major General Emory Upton, a Union general in the Civil War.  Between World War I and II, the camp was used by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Many of the trees on the site were planted by these men. The camp was reopened in 1940, on the eve of World War II, serving its original purpose as a military training ground.
     In 1944, Camp Upton was used as a hospital to treat wounded veterans of the war.  It also served as a Prisoner of War Camp, when in May of 1945, 500 German prisoners were sent to Camp Upton.
     In 1947, the camp was replaced by Brookhaven National Laboratory, to conduct scientific research. The lab remains in operation to this day as a multi-program national laboratory operated by Brookhaven Science Associates for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).  It currently staffs 3,000 scientists, engineers, technicians and support staff as well as over 4,000 guest researchers annually.  Brookhaven National Laboratory has a history of outstanding scientific achievement that spans more than five decades. The Laboratory's research staff has pioneered the fields of nuclear technology, high energy physics, medicine and more. Brookhaven has been home to three research reactors, numerous one-of-a-kind particle accelerators, and other amazing research machines. A web-based history of Brookhaven National lab can be viewed at - http://www.bnl.gov/bnlweb/history.html .


     Thousands of men were trained at Camp Upton during 1917 and 1918 and went overseas. The first 2200 drafted men arrived on Sept. 10th and up to the end of October about 30, 000 men arrived. The camp was built to accommodate 37,000.That first winter of 1917-1918 was a hard one with lots of snow, ice and muddy roads in the spring, as most of the roads were  not hard surfaced at that time, and the only hard surfaced road out of the camp was the one to the Montauk highway, four miles distant. The Barrett Company had the contract for  building the roads in the camp. The Longwood road and the old "Hay Road, that came into the camp from the Middle Country road were dirt roads and became almost impassable that winter. At one time the mud was so bad that autos and trucks could not get around and mule teams were used for  trucking.
     A station called Upton Road was built on the railroad east of the present William Floyd highway, and a shuttle train was operated into the camp from the main line that met the trains, in addition to the trains operating into the passenger station in the camp. Trains were operated on Saturday mornings to New York about an hour apart for the thousands of men on weekend passes, and returned Sunday night. Also visitors trains from New York came into the camp on weekends,  bringing thousands of the relatives and friends of the men in the camp. Tickets to the soldiers were sold at $1.30 for a round trip to New York. The railroad station was a busy place in those days.  The Long Island Rail Road extended tracks for the two miles  into the camp from the main line, with tracks running to the passenger station, the freight yards, coal trestle, and to the ten warehouses where merchandise was received for the operation of the camp.
     The 1660 buildings, utilities and improvements in the camp were sold at auction on August-21, 1921.  Purchasers took down the buildings and salvaged the lumber in them. Hundreds of carloads were shipped around the country as far west as Indianapolis, Ind. Some of the smaller buildings were moved to various locations on Long Island.
     Irving Berlin, the famous song writer, was an early soldier in Camp Upton, and with all the other men hated to get up in the  morning when the bugle blew, so he wrote the song, "Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning, " which became an instant success. He got many Broadway performers to come out to the camp and entertain the soldiers in the camp theater, and  he directed a musical comedy called "Yip Yip Yaphank, " which soon became famous and had a short Broadway run.

Camp Upton, LI, NY - Now Brookhaven National Laboratory
WW I - View from Headquarters Hill (censored)

Typical Squad Room, Reception Center, Camp Upton, LI, NY

Target Practice at Camp Upton