|1918 Camp Bowie Map ~ CH Rogers ~ Click to zoom|
|09-07-1917-Fort Worth Star-Telegram|
|Lake Como & Joyland Entertainment Sites ~ Click to zoom|
Construction went along fairly rapidly and Lake Como was ready by the first part of October, announcing a complete reconstruction and the largest US flag in the world at 80' by 150'.
|10-12-1917 Fort Worth Star-Telegram|
|10-20-1917 Fort Worth Star-Telegram|
|11-25-1917 Fort Worth Star-Telegram|
|02-15-1918-Fort Worth Star Telegram|
As the US moved into the European war the US Government ramrodded through a series of Draconian measures. One of them was to "protect" the morals and health of its its youth. This in spite of the fact that they were old enough to be sent into mortal peril to be used as cannon fodder in the muddy trenches of France. A military commission was set up and one of the first emergency rules that came down made keeping houses of ill fame a Federal offense.
|02-08-1918 Forth Worth Star-Telegram|
C.W. Parker's amusement concession seemed to start off well in the fall of 1917 as the troops were arriving. However, after the first of the year 1918, almost nothing is found about his operation. It seems to have dwindled away. There are several probable reasons: The troops were training very heavily with a target embarkation to Europe in the middle of the year. Devastating epidemics including Spanish Flu and meningitis were flowing through the camp and the community and quarantines were common and long. Although not reported very openly, hundreds and perhaps thousands of troops died at the camp. After the first divisions left to heavy fighting, the war came to an end sooner than expected and operations at Camp Bowie were cut back.
|09-17-1917-Fort Worth Star Telegram|
After the armistice, Joyland just disappeared as the lease was relinquished. Lake Como, which had been a part of the Camp land agreement, settled back into its slumber. There would be another attempt to resurrect it in the 1920's but Lake Worth had become the recreation place of choice.
In spite of its enormous effect on Fort Worth which continues even today, Camp Bowie was really just a flash in the pan. It was begun in 1917 and effectively done by the end of 1918, with no hope of it becoming a permanent post. But while it was here, the Camp made the earth move..
The Stockyard Museum has large-format copies of the 1918 Camp Bowie map in their Museum Store. This is the only good map ever published of the Camp Bowie area...
Images from the Electric Books Collection.