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