San Mateo County Genealogical Society's Blog featuring society events, projects, meeting notes and other items of relevance to genealogists.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

San Mateo County Places: The Story of Camp Fremont

World War I Army Training by San Francisco Bay: 
The Story of Camp Fremont by Barbara Wilcox.  
Review by Cath Madden Trindle

I'll admit I'm very interested in Camp Fremont.  My grandfather was in the Student Army Training Corp at Stanford.  So I wasn't surprised that I found this book fascinating.

Even if you had no family at Camp Fremont, no one at Stanford and no one in California, I think you will find the book worth reading.  It is a well researched treatise of the politics of setting up the Camps for WWI, including government promises and their fulfillment, or lack thereof.  The involvement of San Francisco politicians, the Spring Valley Water Company, Menlo Park developers Hoag and Lansdale and many others is explored.

Just 128 pages long (not counting pages of sources) you will find discussions of the ambivalence of the US populace to the war, the problems of training and deployment and the issues involved in locating so many young men next to a University that had female students.  Also covered is the empowerment of women as they took to nursing and took on roles typically held by males at the university.  No look at WWI is complete without mention of the Spanish Influenza and this book covers it well and includes information on the building of Dibble Army Hospital.

Camp Fremont sent few soldiers to the war.  Ms. Wilcox does a great job of covering the service of the 319 Engineers who were deployed.  I especially appreciated the chapter "Mapping the Future".  Here you will find discussion of the tunnels and trenches dug as the engineers prepared for war and the mapping processes that they used.

This review is just a tiny glimpse of the contents of a very interesting book.  I highly recommend it to all.     Review by Cath Madden Trindle

The book can be ordered on 

Previously Posted
San Mateo County Places - Camp Fremont  SMCGS Blog
San Mateo County Places - Dibble Army Hospital SMCGS Blog
Francis Martin Madden - Student Army Training Corps - Stanford University Madden Blog

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