Camp Hearne, Hearne, and Texas A&M University

My birthday activity this year was a little road trip to Hearne, Texas.  Hearne is just north of College Station.  Mom, Dad, and I went up there on our trip to Calvert a couple of years ago; we went to the depot museum and to Camp Hearne, where German prisoners of war were kept during World War II.  It turns out that my brother, who is a conflict archaeologist, is going to be working on an Italian POW camp in Arkansas in a little while, and he wanted to see Camp Hearne as a kind of preview.

(If anyone thinks this was a weird thing to do on one's birthday . . . well, it's a pretty standard idea in our family.  We spent New Year's one year at the prison museum in Huntsville, and when we went to Philadelphia for a family event, the must-sees included the Mütter Museum and Eastern State Penitentiary.  We're nothing if not slightly ghoulish.)

Go to the Camp Hearne website to read more about it.  If you're at all interested in World War II and might find yourself in east-central Texas, you have to see it. 

There is a full Flickr set here, but I'll post a few pictures just because.  

The barracks aren't original but were rebuilt from original plans.  They serve as the museum now:

The guard tower was, too, except the legs are shorter than they would have been originally:

The interiors had no interior walls.  The single beds were used in the hospital and officers' quarters.  The desk was built by a prisoner:

There were three compounds and each had a theater.  This is the foundation of the theater from Compound 3--it's dug out so there was an orchestra pit and terraced seating.

There were several fountains made of concrete.  They ran off of water pressure (no pumps).  This one originally had frogs around the edge that shot water up into a bowl held by a seated female figure.  Only her pedestal is left (there are some partial frogs in the museum).

The foundations of the administrative buildings, as seen from the guard tower:

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Hearne itself looks pretty threadbare.  Almost all of downtown was vacant:

The City Cafe, which employed POW's in the 1940's, didn't make it to 100 years:

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We took a quick swing through the Texas A&M campus, just for kicks, on the way home.  They have some nice Art Deco buildings.

Civil Engineering:

Geology & Geomorphology (my mother met Michael Halbouty when she was working for a geologist after graduate school):