Fairview Rd. above Jefferson Ave. looking toward MacDade Blvd. in June of 1921 during rush hour.
The Guard at Camp Lawton
NOTE: One Hundred and twenty years ago local men formed "Guard Companies" and went camping for "training". AKA a weekend away from the wife and kids!! This camp at Fairview aka todays Woodlyn was held on the east side of Fairview Rd. in the area of the Chessie Railroad, the old B. & O R.R. This article is based on newspaper accounts.
First Annual Encampment of the Ridley Park Local Guards. J. A. Fields Jr. Co. B. 6th Regiment in Command
Extracts from the Morning Republican of Chester, Pa.
THE LOCAL GUARD OF RIDLEY PARK MARCH TO THE GROUNDS AT CAMP LAWTON
What yesterday morning was a pretty stretch of cool, green meadow on the east side of the Springfield Road is now a tented city and the dwellers are the boys of the RIDLEY PARK LOCAL GUARD. The tents were pitched yesterday afternoon, the Guard marching from Ridley Park in command of Lieut. J. A. Fields with Lieut. Rodger Anthony. Boxes of provisions, utensils and camp paraphernalia were stored in convenient places so that when the guard arrived all that was necessary was to raise the mess tent.
Drilling was dispensed with yesterday, but camp life will start in earnest this morning and the routine will be strictly on military lines. The camp is an ideal one, and the tents have been pitched on the slope of the hill where the drainage is good.
Not far distant is a swimming pool which will be used by the boys during camp for bathing purposes and also far aquatic sports. There is a good field for playing baseball and nines will be made up from the various companies.
A number of visitors called at the camp which has been named after gallant General Lawton, and although they found the boys not at their best, the latter proved very charming hosts.
During the week the Morton-Rutledge Artillery Battalion will call on the Guard in exchange of courtesies when the Battalion was at Camp West.
Special programs will be carried out on this occasion.
SUNDAY AT CAMP LAWTON
THE RIDLEY PARK LOCAL GUARD DRILL BEFORE MANY ADMIRING SPECTATORS. DRILLS WELL EXECUTED
After two very cool nights and days spent in camp, the boys awoke yesterday to a beautiful day, during which many visitors came from near at hand and strolled through the company streets, chatting with the boys. Ridley Park and Morton were the town’s most largely represented, and the young girls from the latter place took the trolley to camp early in the afternoon.
Lieut. Fields put the boys through the regular drills, in the morning, and in the afternoon at 4 o’clock. Rev. C. P. Futcher of the Ridley Park M. E. Church held divine services, which were attended by at least 100 people, all of whom with the soldier boys, jointed heartily in the singing.
Mr. Futcher opened the services by the announcement of the hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers,” which was exceedingly fitting for the time and place. The boys formed in fours and marched to the enclosure, which was in the rear of the official tent in the shade and it made quite a comfortable out of door church.
At 5 o’clock, the lads formed at the call for dress parade, which was reviewed by Captain Mecklem and Lieut. Griffith of Co. C. 6th Reg.
The Captain and Lieut. expressed themselves as pleased with the manner in which the boys went through the drill.
Relieved from duty and a recess from real soldier work after the company evening drill, the boys took this time to show their friends about the camp, which is splendidly fitted out.
Last evening a large number of visitors were on the grounds and they stayed until taps extinguished the lights at 10 o’clock. Today the squad will go through the drills as usual, and there will be some field sports, baseball presumably taking the lead. The arrangement for the sports have not as yet been made but during the week there will be several interesting contests between the members of the Guard.
Rev. and Mrs. C. P. Futcher spent the larger part of the day in camp. Capt. Davison and Adjutant Smith of Morton-Rutledge Artillery Battalion was guest of Lieut. Fields. Lieut. Hennings of Morton was in camp in the afternoon.
W. A. Smith of Morton was seen on the campgrounds.
Others from Rutledge and Morton seen strolling about the grounds yesterday were: Livingstone Smith, Clarence and Joseph Weisenborn, Robert Pilson, Lindsay Scott, Allen Lungren, Mr. Lungren and family, Stanley Williamson, Thos. Phillips, and John Martin.
Noticed on the grounds from Ridley Park were Mr. C. P. Hayes, J. A. Fields, Sr., F. B. Driver, B. P. Shreves, John Avis, The Misses. Fields, Miss Reed, Miss Ethel Groening, Mill Maloney, Mr. H. A. Reed.
Mr. Combs of Philadelphia is a devotee of the camera, as well as being one of the best known musicians in this section of the country, took a photograph yesterday of the worshippers whole at the 4 o’clock services.
Mrs. Dawson of Ridley Park and Mr. & Mrs. G. A. Atherholt were looking over the boys/son dress parade.
INNOCENT FUN AT CAMP LAWTON
BOYS PLAY ALL SORTS OF JOKES WITH ROPES AND BLANKETS AND ENJOY OUT DOOR LIFE
MANY VISITORS AS GUESTS
RIDLEY PARK LOCAL GUARD NOW ACCUSTOMED TO CAMP LIFE THE ADMIRATION OF MANY SPECTATORS
To deviate somewhat from the general routine the boys in Camp Lawton yesterday got a rope and with it they played a number of pranks which would do credit to the James boys and others of dumb novel fame.
In the first place loops were made of the line and after capturing some of the truants, they were strung up until they confessed where they had been.
One boy was made to believe he was gone for good and said good-bye to all as he swung through the air to the tree limb. It was all fun with no danger of any of the lads being hurt as the ever watchful eye of Lieut. Fields was upon them at all times.
The blankets, too, came into play during the day and many had the sensation of a swing in it. Some of them were reminded of the loop-the-loop at Atlantic City, only perhaps the blanket was a little more of a reality. The swing is just the same. Tug-of-war matches also figured during the day much to the amusement of the visitors present and during the night the Indian war dance did not look unlike real Sioux maneuvers.
NOTES OF THE CAMP
Last evening, after mess Lieuts. Fields and Anthony assembled the boys and took up the march to the Leiper Presbyterian Church where a concert given by the Sunday school under the direction of Miss Eliza Leiper was enjoyed. The arrival of the boys on the grounds was very interesting to the country folks there about the boys enjoyed the trip.
Lieuts. Fields and Anthony entertained a number of friends at supper last evening among whom were Misses Butler, Miss Groening, and Messrs. Fred Driver and Duvall.
A black spaniel dog is the camp mascot and the boys and the animals have become warm friends. The dog came with Rastus, and by the way, that little Rastus is a warm member of the camp. Nothing is too good for neither Rastus, nor nothing too bad. He is one of the camp “gang” but when he gets out in the dark it is all off. He is lost.
The Leiperville Fife and Drum Band was in camp on Monday night and serenaded the boys for some time. The music was greatly appreciated. Tonight is the big night in camp and many friends of the boys will be entertained at a watermelon party.
Arrangements have been made for a large gathering and everybody will be made welcome.
The new drill the boys are going through at 4 o’clock is keeping them on the move and Lieut. Fields says he will have it mastered before the camp closes.
The boys are eager and wiling and will no doubt master the difficult movements before camp closes.
SOME PERSONAL MENTIONS
Mr. Driver is a regular visitor to the camp and although 8 years of age is more spry than some of the boys.
James Buchanan, Jr. was a camp visitor yesterday and enjoyed a pleasant chat with the commandant.
Miss Worrall of Philadelphia was an interested spectator at the afternoon drill yesterday.
Mr. Groening was among the boys in camp during the day and he enjoyed the drills and the skylarking as much as anybody.
Mr. & Mrs. Bentley were among the callers on Monday evening.
Mrs. Combs of the park was a visitor on Monday.
Sergeant Smith of Co. B. 6th Regt. was among the boys Monday evening.
Corporal W. Bald and Private A. Conley members of the Guard took their positions in camp yesterday.
Richard Pomeroy and Elwood Turner were amount the Monday evening visitors.