page contents

Join our mailing list!

  Home > Historical Memorabilia >

Merritt Hall: The Soldiers' Club, Camp Merritt, New Jersey. ..[1918]
 Merritt Hall: The Soldiers' Club, Camp Merritt, New Jersey. ..[1918]

Price: $150.00

Product Code: 20200804

A booklet describing Merritt Hall, the building used for the Soldier's Club at Camp Merritt, an army base that was activated for use during WWI located in Dumont and Cresskill, NY. The money to build and furnish the hall came from Laura Williams Merritt, in memory of her husband, Major General Merritt (1836-1910), after whom the Camp is also named. The booklet starts by providing a brief history of the General and his military accomplishments, followed by the story of how the hall came to be built in 1917, making sure to name the various military men who helped support the hall until its opening on January 30th, 1918. The booklet continues on with an in-depth description of the hall itself, from the architecture to furnishings, to even what the cafeteria served. The hall featured a chaplain's office, library room, reading room, billiard and game room, and a cafeteria with a cigar counter. The building was 20,100 square feet of floor space and serviced thousands of soldiers daily, as such "Merritt Hall gets to the heart of the soldier as nothing else in Camp Merritt quite does."  It features nineteen (19) black and white images from  photographs, of which, thirteen (13) depict the building and its individual rooms in use by soldiers. Five (5) images are military portraits of various officers, including Maj. Gen. Merritt (one of these images is a collage of five portraits). The last photograph is of the bronze plaque which dedicated the club to Maj. Gen. Merritt. There are fourteen (14) small orange illustrations of soldiers engaging in various leisure activities. These illustrations are generally located on the bottom corner of a page and act as small border to the text. Camp Merritt would be decommissioned after the war in 1919, and sold to the Harris Brothers Company of Chicago in 1920. Unfortunately the buildings of the camp, including Merritt Hall, were destroyed during a series of fires shortly thereafter. 15 pgs. Printed wrappers. Staple bindings. OCLC 4 (Sept. 2020). Measures 8 1/4" x 5 3/4".. Camp Merritt was one of three camps under the control of the New York Port of Embarkation (US Army command that oversaw the movement of US troops and supplies from NY/NJ to overseas destinations) during WWI. Camp Merritt had the capacity to hold 38,000 transient troops. When the troops were ready to be deployed they would march to Old Closter Dock at Alpine Landing and take ferry boats to piers in Hoboken, NJ, and from there head to Europe and the Western Front. All total, of the approximately four million troops sent to Europe in WWI, about one million were funneled through Camp Merritt.