Camp Taylor - A Louisville Military Training Camp
As people drive through the suburb known as Camp Taylor, it seems like an average neighborhood with Cape cod homes and picket fences. However, Camp Zachary Taylor is one of the many areas in Louisville that has a unique history.
Camp Zachary Taylor started as farmland, but was constructed into a Louisville military training camp in 1917, that closed in 1921. The name Camp Taylor was bestowed in honor of Louisville resident and former US President Zachary Taylor. Its purpose was to train and prepare our US soldiers that were to serve in World War I, and it housed at one point 47,500 men. That made it was one of the largest military camps in the United States. There were 2,090 buildings, including 114 officers' quarters, 399 enlisted men's barracks, a military hospital, and 284 stables.
Several famous individuals who served in the US military during WWI visited or were housed in Camp Taylor, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, the novelist. If you’ve ever read his novel The Great Gatsby, there is mention of Louisville’s Camp Taylor.
Some of the original buildings still stand, but were converted into homes or businesses in the 20’s and 30’s. If you see a house with standing chimneys at either end, more than likely it was once a military building. There have been many new homes built since the Camp Taylor Neighborhood originated, so the area has a more modern look including a park and public pool. However, if you know what to look for, you can still see the unique history of the area.
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