Former Camp Zachary Taylor’s Commandant’s House Is Up for Sale, and Now at Risk of Demolition

Gen Hale

General Harry C. Hale, Commander of Camp Zachary Taylor and the 84th Division, which was organized in August 1917 at Camp Zachary Taylor, where men from Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois were sent for basic training at the onset of the United States entering World War 1. General Hale was in service in China in 1917, and was called back to the United States when the camps were near completion in September of that year, and to take command of Camp Zachary Taylor. He was a famous Indian Fighter in the “Bad Lands” of South Dakota in the 1880’s and was famous for single handily capturing “Sitting Bulls” warriors, where he brought them back to the reservation.

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General Hale took possession of this farm house for his residence while Commander of the camp. It was located directly across the street from the “Head Quarters” buildings, which were built along Taylor Ave. on the west side of Poplar Level Road.

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The residence, which is at 4211 Poplar Level Road, is being offered for sale as a commercial site. The front half of the property is zoned C1 (commercial), while the back half is zoned R5 (residential). The listing Realtor suggests that the lot could be used for a “Convenience Store” or “Car Wash”. This clearly indicates that the intent would be to tear down the Historic Building and construct a modern store front property for retail use.

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The house seen in this 1917 photograph, was built in 1911, and was the home of Alphonse Schoenbachler. He owned the house and 95 acres of land that stretched from Poplar Level Road (east) to Newburg Road. He sold his land, as well did hundreds of other patriotic Louisvillian’s, for the war cause. The house has been a residence for 103 years, but now faces the possibility of being demolished. It is the very last one of these Original Farm Houses, that stood along Poplar Level Road before Camp Zachary Taylor was constructed.

Other Historic Homes that we have since lost due to the construction of Camp Taylor, or after it was dismantled are:

The “Basil Prather” homestead, which was located on top of Quarry Hill. It was built in 1797, and survived until after WW1, only to be demolished for a subdivision.

We lost the George Rogers Clark Homestead in 1917, which was torn down when Camp Taylor was under construction. It is considered to be “The Most Significant Loss” of a Historical Structure in Louisville’s history.

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We also lost the home of Leo Schimeider. The Schneider’s 28 acre Estate was at the corner of Poplar Level and Hess Lane (NW Corner). It was bulldozed after the camp was sold and the land subdivided. The house was taking up too much land, and they could build three new homes where it stood. It is pictured below when it was sold in 1921 and demolished shortly thereafter.

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The destruction of these significant buildings, that make up our Local History, needs to come to a stop. The almighty dollar cannot, and will not, ever replace the importance of our Iconic and Historic Landmarks. The photographs will never replace the buildings that make up the History of Our Neighborhoods. Please write to Metro Councilman, Jim King and our Representative Jim Wayne, and let them know that we need to protect this Historic Building.

Happy 97th Birthday to Camp Zachary Taylor, Louisville, Kentucky.

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97 Years Ago, November 3rd, 1917, Camp Zachary Taylor conducted their official opening day celebration. Approximately 40 thousand soldiers and thousands of civilians attended the event on the very clear and mild fall day. It was attended by politicians and military officers from the camp and Washington DC. You can read more details about the events of that day on the link above, “97th Anniversary – Nov. 3, 2014″.

200 Years on the Ohio Exhibit

I will be presenting a two (2) day exhibit at “Riverside, The Farnsley-Moremen Landing” in southern Jefferson County. Their event “200 Years on The Ohio” will be on September 20-21, 2014. I will be displaying some of our items from the collection, several photographs and a couple of maps. Information about the event can be found on the “Events” tab and here:

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“Louisville and The Great War” Exhibit a Success!

Our Exhibit “Louisville and The Great War” was a big success! I want to thank everyone who came to visit the Conrad Caldwell House Museum and especially those who made the extra effort to come for the exhibit. We had four fantastic lectures during the five months the exhibit was open, and attendance to those was very good. 100% of the proceeds from the exhibit, lectures and movie screenings went to help fund the Conrad Caldwell House. Many thanks to everyone. Hopefully we will have a permanent home in the near future. Here are more pictures from the exhibit if you were not able to attend.ÐHä

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Our Final Special Event Lecture Notable People at CZT

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Our fourth and final special event in our Lecture Series will take place on June 1st, 2014 at 4:00 pm at the Conrad Caldwell House Museum, 1402 St. James Court. The topic will be “Notable People at Camp Zachary Taylor”. I will be talking about individuals who were part of Camp Zachary Taylor when it existed and their contributions to their country and others.

There were important individuals who were responsible for Camp Zachary Taylor being built in Louisville, Important Leaders who made it possible for the US to win both World Wars, Educators who improved the lives they touched and Entertainers who were pioneers in film and stage that made life for the soldiers a little more tolerable.

I hope to see you there. Admission is $5, and all of the proceeds go to help support the Conrad Caldwell House Museum.

Special Event Lecture “Street Names of Camp Taylor”

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“Street Names of Camp Zachary Taylor” April 26th at 4:00 pm

We are very excited about the next Lecture in our series of “Special Events” in conjunction with our current exhibit “Louisville and The Great War”. The third lecture will be held at Joe Creason Park on April 26th. It will take place inside of the Motor School Garage Building, which is the LAST remaining large structure that was built at Camp Zachary Taylor.

I will be giving a short history about the structure and will be showing some photographs of it that have never been seen by the public before. The Motor School at Camp Zachary Taylor comprised of several buildings for instruction in the repair of automobiles, trucks and motorcycles. The large garage, which is 102′-6″ x 256′-0″ was the largest structure built, and was constructed with clear span trusses over 100′-0″ long. It was used as a garage to store those vehicles. This will be the first time that it will be open to the public for an event like this. The photo is the Motor School Garage as it looked in 1974.

The Lecture will be “Street Names of Camp Zachary Taylor”. I will be showing maps and photographs of the camp before and during the war while talking about the original roads that were there before the camp was built. Also about the new roads that were constructed in the camp, and the people who there were named after. You will never know what you will discover when you take an in depth look back into our local history. Some of it is fascinating.

Tickets are $5 can be purchased in advance at the Conrad Caldwell House or at the door.

Classic Movie Screening – “The Big Parade”

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This Classic Silent Film from 1925 will be our third installment in our Special Movie Screening Event. It will be shown at the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum, 1402 St. James Court, Louisville Ky on April 10, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

The Big Parade is a 1925 American silent film directed by King Vidor and starring John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Hobart Bosworth, and Claire McDowell.[1][2][3] Adapted by Harry Behn from the play by Joseph Farnham and the autobiographical novel Plumes by Laurence Stallings, the film is about an idle rich boy who joins the US Army’s Rainbow Division and is sent to France to fight in World War I, becomes a friend of two working class men, experiences the horrors of trench warfare, and finds love with a French girl.
The film was groundbreaking for not glorifying the war or ignoring its human costs, exemplified by the lead character’s loss of a leg from battle wounds. It heavily influenced all subsequent war films, especially All Quiet on the Western Front (1930).*

*from Wikipedia

Classic Movie Screening “War Horse”

We are proud to present our second Special Event in our Classic Movie Screening Series. On Thursday, March 6, 2014, we will be showing Stephen Spielberg’s “War Horse”.

This film was released in 2011, and captures the relationship between Albert, a young man in rural England, and his horse Joey. The film follows the horse though his confiscation by the British Army for the war, and his horrific journey and survival of “No Man’s Land” in France during the Geat War.

Bring your tissues for this one. I hope you can make it. We will have drinks and fresh popcorn on sale for the full movie experience. Admission is $5 at the door and 100% of the proceeds go to support the Conrad Caldwell House Museum.YMCA - Movie War horse w text