Camp Fremont

WWI/Camp Fremont/Fremont Park Timeline:


Jun 28 - Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria

Jul 28  - Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia

Aug 4  - The United Kingdom declares war on Germany; the United States declares neutrality


May 7 - Sinking of RMS Lusitania by a German U-boat: 1,198 killed


Jan 31 - Kaiser Wilhelm II signs order for unrestricted submarine warfare

Apr 6 - U.S. declares war on Germany

Jul 6 - Selection of Camp Fremont as 1 of 16 camps designated to train federalized National Guard soldiers announced [2, p. 34]

Jul 26 - Stanford trustees agree to lease 6,000 acres to the War Department [2, p. 34]

Jul 27 - Construction of Camp Fremont begins [4] - original purpose to train 41st National Guard Division

Sep 27 - 1500 men from 8th Infantry Regiment from Philippines arrived to form basis for regular army's new 8th Infantry Division

Nov 6,7 - Bolshevik Revolution launched

Dec 7 - U.S. declares war on Austria-Hungary

Note: U.S. never declared war on Ottoman Empire


Jan - All Camp Fremont units in place: 8th Army Infantry Division activated

Mar 3  - Treaty of Brest-Litovsk ends Russia's part in the war

Aug 14 - 5,000 men stripped from 8th Division and sent to Vladivostok, Siberia, under Gen. William S. Graves

Nov 11 - Armistice ends the fighting


Jun 28 - Treaty of Versailles formally ends the war

Aug - Camp Fremont formally closed

Sep - Army Eight Division demobilized


Sep 12 - Incorporation of Town of Atherton

Oct 20 (about) - 5th anniversary of Armistice - Dedication of memorial plaque - see Camp Fremont Monument below


Nov 23 - Incorporation of City of Menlo Park


Nov 11 - 20th anniversary of Armistice - Dedication of Memorial Park (now Fremont Park) - see Fremont Memorial Park below


          Jul 1 - Army Eight Division reactivated


Nov - 60th anniversary of Armistice - Exhibit (prepared by MPHA) of photos and posters in lobby of California Savings, corner of Santa Cruz Ave and Curtis St (now Bank of the West)


Nov 11 - 68th anniversary of Armistice - Plaque dedicated at MacArthur Park Restaurant (in Palo Alto) recognizing the building's origin as Camp Fremont Hostess House


         Jan 17 - Army Eight Division deactivated


75th anniversary of Armistice - Camp Fremont Documentary,  a video originally produced for the VAPAHCS Menlo Park Division

75th anniversary celebration.

See article in MPHA Newsletter XVIII.9 (Sep 1993).

Also see article on Camp Fremont in The Gate Post XX.11 (Nov 1995) by Frank Helfrich.


A Firsthand Account of the Spanish Influenza at Camp Fremont in 1918  [added March 2020]

Map of Camp Fremont west of El Camino Real.

More maps: Camp Fremont, Menlo Park; Camp Fremont, Palo Alto

Preparing for War , the cover story in the 1/13/2016 issue of The Almanac by Kate Bradshaw, based on Barbara Wilcox's new book, "World War I Army Training by San Francisco Bay: The Story of Camp Fremont."


[1] Strobridge, Colonel William F. U.S.A., Golden Gate to Golden Horn: Camp Fremont and the American Expedition to Siberia of 1918, San Mateo County Historical Association (1985), 82 pp. This is an undated mimographed manuscript. The latest reference is dated 1975. A copy of this reference is in the MPHA archives. Also published in La Peninsula (The Journal of the San Mateo County Historical Association), Vol. XXV, No. 2 (Oct 1989), p. 3ff.

[2] Wilcox, Barbara, World War I Army Training by San Francisco Bay: The Story of Camp Fremont (2016), 143 pp.

[3] See below

[4] Berkeley Daily Gazette, Jul 27, 1917

Fremont Memorial Park. In the late 1930s, J.F. Carl Hagens [5], a resident of the recently incorporated City of Menlo Park, led a private effort to purchase the lot on the south corner of Santa Cruz and University Avenues to be a memorial to Camp Fremont. The City then added an adjacent smaller lot. A brief account of this effort is in Vol. XXXVII.4 of The Gate Post. See also Vol. XX.8&9. The park was dedicated on Nov. 11, 1938, by former U.S. Senator Samuel M. Shortridge. Former President Herbert Hoover also spoke. The dedication ceremony followed a parade that began along Oak Grove from the train depot, then went down Valparaiso and finally to the park via Johnson Street. Mayor J. E. Cooper and his party reviewed the various parade units from the reviewing stand on University Avenue. [Menlo Park Recorder, Nov. 11, 1938]

Camp Fremont Monument. See Plaque 34a on the Plaques page. A brass [or more likely bronze] plaque marking the site of Camp Fremont was dedicated during the reunion of members of the Eight Division and 319th Engineers in 1923. [Daily Palo Alto Times Oct. 17 and 20, 1923]  The plaque, mounted on a concrete slab 2.25 feet wide by 3.5 feet high, was initially located on the corner of Valparaiso and El Camino Real (probably on the south corner, which had been occupied by the 319th Engineers). At the formal unveiling of the plaque, Senator Samuel Shortridge as well as President Ray Lyman Wilber of Stanford University and Mayor A. M. Cathcart of Palo Alto spoke. Colonel Otwell, commander of the 319th Engineers, acted as the master of ceremonies. [Palo Alto Times October 20, 1923] This monument was later moved to the southwestern end of Live Oak Avenue. At the time this street did not extend all the way to University Avenue. (Eight Division Headquarters had been located in the area bordered by El Camino Real and by Menlo, Live Oak  and University Avenues.) When Fremont Memorial Park was created (see above), this monument was moved there. See comment in Vol. XXXVIII.5 of The Gate Post. A second plaque honoring Col. Orwell (1875-1964), commanding officer of the 319th Engineers, was added to the slab in 1964. Initially the monument was on the north corner of the park. More recently the park was redesigned (1995) and the monument moved to the south corner (away from the streets).

[5] Hagens had owned the building at 1036 Doyle St during the 1935-1939 period when it was City Hall. He apparently did not charge rent [needs verifying].

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