Thursday, December 29, 2011

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 19

Military encampment and South Gate at the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition, 1909

During the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition of 1909 each day of the week except Sunday was designated a special day for one of the various organizations represented at the Fair. The D.A.R. (Daughters of the American Revolution), S.A.R. (Sons of the American Revolution) and G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic – survivors and descendants of Civil War soldiers) were all invited and did participate. The Oregon ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) was also represented. There was a special military day at the Fair.

I found this postcard interesting but was unable find out much information about the military encampment shown except that this group was invited to demonstrate military exercises and engage in competitions to show off their skill and the range of training. The “games” were probably held on the green open space seen in the middle of the picture and would have involved horsemanship, marksmanship, parade drills and other like activities.

The camp was located near the south gate to the Fair grounds and can be seen at the upper mid-left of the card. It included horses as well as military personnel. The group was housed in tents much like they must have used when they were actually on duty. Fair visitors could walk through and around the camp to get a feeling of what a military camp would be like.

Two of the older remaining buildings on the University of Washington campus today are Lewis and Clark Halls. The University’s ROTC program is still housed in one of these buildings. Both are located near where this encampment was found in 1909.

For more information about the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition in general, please see

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