Construction of Camp Zachary Taylor

[Above image: View of Camp Zachary Taylor, WW I-16.]

Camp Zachary Taylor (CZT) was created in June 1917 for the purpose of training American troops following the United States entry into World War I in April that year.  The camp was located southeast and south of Louisville, with camp headquarters being north of the later Poplar Level Road and the Watterson Expressway interchange.  Construction for the camp began in June 1917 and was finished by mid-August.  The camp contained approximately twenty-seven hundred acres and two thousand buildings which cost about $10 million to build and maintain.

Construction of barracks. [WW I-14]

Construction of barracks. [WW I-14]

The land that would support the largest of 16 such camps that dotted the United States was originally Louisville farm land that was purchased for the construction of Camp Zachary Taylor.  Luckily someone had in mind to document the whole process and The Filson has a large group of construction progress photographs including: clearing the land and burning down old houses and barns, the construction of barracks and mess halls, and snap shots of the first recruits going through processing stations. Here are a few of my favorite images from the group.

Clearing the land


Moving In

To see more CZT photographs check them out in our online Image Database:

Heather Potter

Heather Potter is the Curator of Photographs and Prints at The Filson Historical Society.

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