|Part of California|
2nd Cavalry Division's Shoulder Sleeve Insignia
|Type||United States Army outpost|
|Campo Fire and Rescue Department
County of San Diego
San Diego County Sheriff' Department
Rancho del Campo juvenile facility
Multiple Private Parties
|Controlled by||San Diego County and Multiple Private Parties|
|Garrison||1st Cavalry Regiment
10th Cavalry Regiment
11th Cavalry Regiment
28th Cavalry Regiment
|Commanders||COL Waldemar Falck
BG Thoburn K. Brown
Camp Lockett was a United States Army military base located in Campo, California, east of San Diego, and north of the Mexican border. Camp Lockett has historical connections to the Buffalo Soldiers due to the 10th and 28th Cavalry Regiments having been garrisoned there during World War II. It was named in honor of Colonel James R. Lockett who fought in the Spanish-American War, Philippine Insurrection, and the Punitive Expedition. There was an active preservation effort underway with long term plans of creating the 'Camp Locket Historic District' in the National Register of Historic Places, which ended due to private property concerns. In 2009 it was designated as a California Historical Landmark, and there are plans to create a county park out of the majority of its former area.
19th century 
Although travel through the area had been occurring for centuries, with the Diegueño Native Americans having lived there long before European settlement, it wasn't until the end of the 1860s and the early 1870s when a permanent Non-Native American settlement was established in the Campo Valley area. The area was settled by people migrating west from Texas, so much so that the area at one time was called "Little Texas". In 1869, John Capron established a regular stagecoach run from San Diego, by way of Dulzura and Campo, to Yuma which continued to run until 1912.
As with many places in the American Southwest this immigration brought new interactions between the people living in the area, including the Mexicans who lived not to far to the south. A telegraph line and a stop for the stagecoach was established, and was run by the Larkin family. It brought additional commerce to the area; however, with commerce came crime. On 4 December 1875, a gunfight between the denizens of Campo and a group of Mexican bandits, who had earlier killed the former Governor of Baja California Antonio Sosa in a robbery, took place at Gaskill's Store. After all was said and done the events of that day led to eight dead and two wounded. Company G of the 1st Cavalry Regiment was sent by order of Major General John Schofield to San Diego to provide armed assistance to the area. Lieutenant Storey commanded a detachment of ten troopers, detaching four troopers to conduct "outpost" duty after shooting himself in the hip, thus providing the first soldiers to be stationed in what would be Camp Lockett.
In May 1876, a large assembly of outlaws assembled in Tecate to attempt to rob the stagecoach station. The Company was sent east to assist under the command of Captain Reuben Bernard, a veteran of the Modoc War; this dispersed the would-be assailants. In the summer of that same year, a group of Native Americans came north from Mexico and began living off the Larkin Family's cattle. Contacting the Alcalde (mayor) of Tecate, Pete Larkin was advised to confront the Native Americans. The confrontation became a fight, leading to the death of a Native American. This brought reprisal when the chief of the Native Americans asked for protection from the Alcalde, who subsequently assembled a posse and drove the cattle south of the border. Again the Cavalry came east to assist, which led to the abandoning of the cattle by the posse of the Alcalde and the posse's dispersal. This led the increase to the size of those on "outpost" duty to that of a squad.
By 1877 the squad's duty ended as the 1st Cavalry Regiment was sent north due to the Little Big Horn Campaign, being replaced in San Diego by H Company, 8th Infantry Regiment. Company H was later replaced by Company I of the same Infantry Regiment in 1878 due to the Bannock Campaign. The would remain in San Diego until at least 1898, however no significant military presence would be seen Campo until 1895. In that year, about forty Yaquis were pressed into the Mexican Army, and later mutinied in Ensenada; in doing so they killed three people including their Captain's wife, and began to flee northward to obtain horses to travel back to where they came from. In response the U.S. Army sent ten infantrymen under the command of Lieutenant Hubert to Campo. Although a farm was raided, the infantry's presence prevented the group from continuing further into the United States, and they were eventually subdued by Mexican Militia forces south of Jacumba.
World War I 
In response to the Zimmerman Telegram it was decided that detachments of the 11th Cavalry Regiment would be stationed along the US–Mexico border. In part this was done by stationing Troop E at what would become Camp Lockett in 1918, named after the 4th Colonel in command of the 11th Cavalry Regiment. Troop E would remain stationed there until August 1920 when they were relocated to the Presidio of Monterey, and replaced by Troop D of the same regiment. Later on in that same year the force at Campo would be reduced to that of a platoon, while the rest of the Troop moved to Camp Lawrence J. Hearn at Palm City, near present day Imperial Beach. Eventually both locations would be abandoned when the Regiment was recombined in Monterey in the 1920s.
World War II 
First construction phase in 1941 
The first phase of construction, which occurred in 1941, housed the 11th Cavalry Regiment. Standard Army Quartermaster Corps Series 700 and 800 plans were used for the original camp and included housing areas (barracks, officers quarters, day room, mess hall, and storehouse), stable areas (stables, blacksmith shops, and hay sheds), a veterinary facility, the quartermaster area, motor pool area, hospital (staff quarters and wards), administration buildings, recreation buildings, a chapel, and post exchange.
Original infrastructure included roads and streets, a sewage treatment plant, incinerator, and water supply system. Importantly, during this time several buildings from the pre-Army era were converted to military support uses, including the 1885 Gaskill Stone Store. By November 1941, Camp Lockett housing was ready for occupancy.
In 1942, the Army transferred the 11th Cavalry Regiment to Fort Benning, Georgia and converted it to motorized armor. At Camp Lockett, the 10th Cavalry Regiment replaced the 11th Cavalry Regiment. As war mobilization continued new troopers were organized into the 28th Cavalry Regiment, forming the 4th Cavalry Brigade of the 2nd Cavalry Division.
The Western Defense Command’s Southern Land Frontier Sector also moved to Camp Lockett at this time. This command consisted primarily of administrative personnel responsible for planning the defense of southern Arizona and California; they fell under General John L. DeWitt, whom surveyed what would be Camp Lockett in 1940.
Second construction phase of 1942–1943 
The expanded presence necessitated a second phase of construction from 1942 to 1943, which conformed to standard Theater of Operations plans, an even more expedient construction than the mobilization architecture utilized in the first phase.
Most of the new construction centered on additional stable and troop housing areas for the 28th Cavalry Regiment one mile north of the original encampment. The 28th area included additional stables, hay sheds, and blacksmith shops. The original veterinary complex was expanded for the 2nd Veterinary Company.
Additional troop areas included a regimental headquarters, barracks, mess halls, latrines, and storerooms. Support buildings in the 28th Cavalry area included a post exchange, chapel, motor pool, and fire station. Recreational additions included the swimming pool complex between the 10th and 28th Cavalry areas, additional NCO and Officers’ Clubs, a gymnasium, and the outdoor amphitheater Merritt Bowl. Civilian housing and single-status dormitories were also constructed.
In early 1944, the 4th Cavalry Brigade was sent to North Africa then disbanded and converted into service units. With their departure from Camp Lockett, the era of the horse soldier ended. Camp Lockett was in stand-by status for several months.
Convalescent hospital activated in 1944 
In July 1944, the Army Service Forces activated the Mitchell Convalescent Hospital at former Camp Lockett. The hospital was the first Army Service Forces convalescent hospital in the United States. To expand the original Camp Lockett hospital, many buildings were moved and converted to hospital wards and other uses.
Prisoner of war camp established in 1944 
Concurrent with activation of the convalescent hospital was the establishment of the prisoner of war camp in the 28th Cavalry Regiment area. The POW camp, a branch of the Riverside County Camp Haan, housed Italian and German prisoners of war, who worked in all phases of hospital operation, including services, maintenance, and construction.
Base Closure 
The convalescent hospital remained active at Camp Lockett until June 1946, when the facility closed and the installation was declared surplus. Starting in 1949 the Army began to close the base. Leased properties reverted to their original owners, 600 acres were transferred to the County of San Diego, and 39 acres were transferred to the Mountain Empire Union High School District.
Current status 
In 2003, the former military base was designated a Historic District by the State of California. In 2009, the San Diego County Probation Department said it was planning to shut down their facilities at what was Camp Lockett.
Buildings and structures 
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (March 2011)|
The district includes 52 standing buildings and 2 structures or complexes of structures built during the period of significance. Two contributing building were constructed before the establishment of Camp Lockett but were used by the U.S. Army during the period of significance.
The primary categories of functional building types associated with the period of significance are present in the district. With few exceptions, the buildings constructed by the Army are wood-framed, mobilization-style architecture supported on concrete piers or slabs. Infrastructure buildings, such as those in the sewage disposal plant, are built of poured concrete.
Most of the surviving buildings and structures date from the early phase of construction in 1941; there are no standing Theater of Operations-style buildings dating from the 1942–43 period of construction. Several of the contributors were moved during the period of significance, in conjunction with establishment of the Mitchell Convalescent Hospital in 1944.
Built properties contributing to the Camp Lockett Cultural Landscape Historic District represent a wide range of functional types from the historic period of significance. Personnel support functions are represented in mess halls, day rooms, officers’ quarters, supply buildings.
Recreational buildings include the base theater, swimming pool (now filled), and bathhouses. Buildings associated with care of the horses include stables and blacksmith shop. General support buildings include firehouse, guardhouse, maintenance, motor pool garage, and cellblock.
The hospital area contains administrative buildings, barracks, wards, mess halls, storehouses, dispensary, and civilian employee housing. Camp infrastructure properties include the sewage plant, portions of the water system, and the incinerator.
Pre-Lockett buildings utilized by the Army during the period of significance include the Gaskill Brothers Stone Store and the Ferguson Ranch House.
Historic archaeological features 
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (March 2011)|
Historic archaeological features, especially foundations, representing a range of building and structure types from the period of significance contribute to the district and are enumerated as features within one site for this nomination. A total of 47 features resulting from original barracks, day rooms, mess halls, storehouses, officers’ quarters, chapel, and stables are present.
The Western Defense Command’s Southern Land Frontier Sector headquarters building is represented in an archaeological feature.
Landscape features contributing to the district include original circulation routes, mortared field stone hardscape features, patterned plantings, and open training areas. Eleven circulation routes laid out as part of original camp construction remain in the district.
In several locations, mortared stone retaining walls and drainage features accompany the circulation routes. Patterned plantings dating from the period of significance, as well as the oak grove in Chaffee Park also contribute to the district.
The Italian Prisoners of War Shrine, which is located about a mile north of the main encampment, also contributes to the district as a landscape element. The shrine is mortared into a bedrock outcrop and features a glass-enclosed Catholic statuette and engraved stone.
Portrayal in popular media 
- "Campo, California". San Diego Railroad Museum. 12 October 2008. Retrieved 2000-03-05. "Word came to Campo May 1876 that approximately one hundred bandits gathering in the Tecate area planned to rustle Jacumba stage station keeper Pete Larkin's cattle, "clean out" the Gaskills for food and ammunition and revenge the losses in Lopez band at Campo the previous December. Twenty settlers assembled to reinforce the small cavalry detachment detailed from San Diego to "outpost" duty in the mountains along the border to protect the mail stages and telegraph line. Colonel Barnard in command at San Diego arrived with additional cavalry troops."
- "Camp Lockett Fire Station". History. Campo Fire and Rescue Department. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
- "Board Minutes, Historic Sites Board". Department of Planning and Land Use. County of San Diego. 26 February 2007. Retrieved 2009-05-17. "The Sheriff’s building is a part of historic site CA-SDI-16734 and is a contributing structure to the Camp Lockett Historic District."
- Anne Krueger (24 October 2009). "Ex-Army camp has a following". U-T San Diego. Retrieved 26 October 2009.
- "The 28th Cavalry: The U.S. Army’s Last Horse Cavalry Regiment". Retrieved 2009-05-17.
- Vezina, Meredith (Winter/Spring 1993). "Defending the Border: The Cavalry at Camp Lockett". Journal of San Diego History. San Diego Historical Society. Retrieved 2009-05-17. "Just prior to the 11th Cavalry's departure, Brig. Gen. Thoburn K. Brown and an advance party of the 4th Cavalry Brigade arrived at Camp Lockett."
- "Camp Lockett (Mitchell Convalescent Hospital)". Historic California Posts. California State Military Department. 12 October 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-17. "In 1942, the 10th Cavalry Regiment (the famed Buffalo Soldiers) moved into Camp Lockett to replace the 11th Cavalry Regiment which had been converted into an armored unit."
- "James Lockett, Colonel, United States Army". Arlington National Cemetery Website. 16 September 2007. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
- "Agenda, Historic Sites Board". Department of Planning and Land Use. County of San Diego. 20 October 2003. Retrieved 2009-05-17. "Recommend approval of historic designation of this resource on the Local Register of Historic Resources."
- Scott, Christy (8 June 2006). "Residents asked for input on Camp Lockett park". The Alpine Sun. Retrieved 17 May 2009.
- "Board Minutes, Historic Sites Board". Department of Planning and Land Use. County of San Diego. 26 February 2007. Retrieved 2009-05-17. "Camp Lockett: National Register nomination draft submitted to OHP for review (draft sent because of the complexity of the project)"
- Anne Krueger (31 October 2009). "Buffalo Soldiers' base recognized". U-T San Diego. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
- Russell F. Kimball (5 March 2000). "A Brief History". Campo, California. San Diego Railroad Museum. Retrieved 2009-05-18. "By 1869 Milquatay Valley had a population of four hundred people, so many from Texas that the area was known as "Little Texas" or "New Texas" for a time."
- Shirley Bowman; Flo Morrison. "STAGE COACH DAYS". HIGHWAY 94 HISTORY. Highway 94 Club. Retrieved 2009-05-18. "The four to six horse stage coaches started between San Diego and Ft Yuma about 1869 on a weekly line operated by John Capron. This was the route that went through Dulzura, Campo and parts east."
- Russell F. Kimball (5 March 2000). "A Brief History". Campo, California. San Diego Railroad Museum. Retrieved 2009-05-18. "Word came to Campo May 1876 that approximately one hundred bandits gathering in the Tecate area planned to rustle Jacumba stage station keeper Pete Larkin's cattle,"
- Pourade, Richard (1964) . "Chapter 9: The Big Gun Fight at Campo". The History of San Diego. 7 4 (The Glory Years ed.). Copley Press. Retrieved 2009-05-18. "They usually crossed the border at Jacumba near Pete Larkin's stage station,"
- Trejo Barajas, Dení; Edith González Cruz, Altable Fernández Altable F., (2003). Historia general de Baja California Sur. Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur: Plaza y Valdes. p. 307. ISBN 978-970-722-075-1. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
- Pourade, Richard (1964) . "Chapter 9: The Big Gun Fight at Campo". The History of San Diego. 7 4 (The Glory Years ed.). Copley Press. Retrieved 2009-05-18. "At the moment Lopez raised his hand to give the signal for his men to open fire, a Frenchman on a gray horse rode into town to get mail for his employer, a sheep rancher at Las Juntas. He also was armed. As the two men in the store, Cota and Alvijo, reached for their guns, Lumen Gaskill yelled "murder" and dropped behind a counter and scrambled toward his shotgun."
- Pourade, Richard (1964) . "Chapter 9: The Big Gun Fight at Campo". The History of San Diego. 7 4 (The Glory Years ed.). Copley Press. Retrieved 2009-05-18. "One man had been killed outright in the gun fight; two had died of their wounds; another had been killed by his companion; two had been lynched, and two others had been wounded. Two other persons had been murdered for gold."
- Pourade, Richard (1964) . "Chapter 9: The Big Gun Fight at Campo". The History of San Diego. 7 4 (The Glory Years ed.). English: Copley Press. Retrieved 2009-05-18. "Wildy, San Diego's district attorney, was placed in charge of the posse and Wetmore was sent to San Francisco to see Gen. John M. Schofield, commander of the Army's Pacific Division."
- Pourade, Richard (1964) . "Chapter 9: The Big Gun Fight at Campo". The History of San Diego. 7 4 (The Glory Years ed.). English: Copley Press. Retrieved 2009-05-18. "A detachment of ten under a Lieut. Storey reached Campo on January 11, 1876. The situation was quieting down, and Lieut. Storey became the only casualty. He dropped his pistol and shot himself in the hip. He left four men to guard the settlement and returned to San Diego."
- Russell F. Kimball (5 March 2000). "A Brief History". Campo, California. San Diego Railroad Museum. Retrieved 2009-05-18. "With that combined presence, the bandits did not follow their original plan."
- Ruhlen, George (April 1955). "SAN DIEGO BARRACKS". SAN DIEGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY QUARTERLY, the Journal of San Diego History 1 (2). Retrieved 2009-05-18. "On one occasion a band of Indians from across the line had been living on cattle belonging to a Mr. Larkins."
- Russell F. Kimball (5 March 2000). "A Brief History". Campo, California. San Diego Railroad Museum. Retrieved 2009-05-18. "Barnard, minimizing the danger, soon returned to San Diego with his command but left a squad to guard Pete Larkin's ranch and stage station."
- Russell F. Kimball (5 March 2000). "A Brief History". Campo, California. San Diego Railroad Museum. Retrieved 2009-05-18. "At that same time the support of the U.S. Cavalry was gone with their trek to Montana to join in the pursuit of Sioux Indians under Crazy Horse, still "on the loose" after the Custer massacre at the Little Big Horn river."
- Ruhlen, George (April 1955). "SAN DIEGO BARRACKS". SAN DIEGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY QUARTERLY, the Journal of San Diego History 1 (2). Retrieved 2009-05-18. "Indian troubles in Idaho caused the transfer of Company G, which departed June 27, 1877, being replaced by Company H, 8th Infantry, on Nov. 17, 1877."
- Russell F. Kimball (5 March 2000). "A Brief History". Campo, California. San Diego Railroad Museum. Retrieved 2009-05-18. "U.S. Army Lieutenant Hubert with ten infantrymen appeared after a forced march of fifty miles from San Diego."
- "Camp Seeley". The California State Military Museum. California State Military Department. Retrieved 2009-05-25.
- "History of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment". Fort Irwin. United States Army. Retrieved 2009-05-25.
- Richardson Jr., Robert (January 1921). "Eleventh Cavalry". The Cavalry Journal XXX (122): 458. Retrieved 2009-05-25.
- "Camp Lawrence J. Hearn". The California State Military Museum. California State Military Department. Retrieved 2009-05-25.
- "Camp Lockett (Mitchell Convalescent Hospital)". Historic California Posts. California State Military Department. 12 October 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-17. "Statler's buildings played an essential role in the camp?s early development because the structures were used to house employees of the architect-engineer and the constructing quartermaster. The workers took over the entire downtown area, which consisted of a two-story house, probably the old mansion built by the early pioneer Gaskill Brothers, and "four cottages and an old hotel.""
- "Camp Lockett Made Ready for Cavalry". Berkeley Daily Gazette. 7 November 1941. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- "Camp Lockett (Mitchell Convalescent Hospital)". Historic California Posts. California State Military Department. 12 October 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-17. "In 1943 The 28th Cavalry Regiment made up of inductees joined the 10th to form the 4th Cavalry Brigade of the 2nd Cavalry Division (Horse)"
- "Camp Lockett (Mitchell Convalescent Hospital)". Historic California Posts. California State Military Department. 12 October 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-17. "In the midsummer of 1940, the army dispatched Lt. Gen. John L. DeWitt to Campo with orders to conduct a preliminary survey and report on the feasibility of locating a military facility in the area."
- "Camp Lockett (Mitchell Convalescent Hospital)". Historic California Posts. California State Military Department. 12 October 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-17. "The gymnasium constructed in 1943 on Sheridan Drive was used later by the Mountain Empire Union High School until occupancy of the new facility on Buckman Springs Road half way between Campo and Pine Valley in 1976."
- Krueger, Anne (1 February 2007). "Historic designation sought for Army camp". U-T San Diego. Retrieved 17 May 2009. "Camp Lockett then was converted into a prisoner-of-war camp, holding 400 Italian and 100 German soldiers."
- Krueger, Anne (16 May 2005). "Effort is afoot to preserve base". U-T San Diego. Retrieved 17 May 2009. "The camp was later used as an Army convalescent hospital until it was closed in 1946."
- Harry J. Price; Carmen Zepeda-Herman (24 August 2010). "Historic Resources Survey for the Camp Lockett Sewage Treatment Plant Garage". Department of Public Works. County of San Diego. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
- San Diego County Grand Jury (18 May 2010). "San Diego County Detention Facility Inspection Report". County of San Diego. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
- Anne Krueger (27 November 2009). "County to close Juvenile Ranch Facility". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- Krueger, Anne (1 February 2007). "Historic designation sought for Army camp". U-T San Diego. Retrieved 17 May 2009. "The Italian soldiers created a shrine to the Virgin Mary in a boulder at Camp Lockett. It is still there."
- "California's Gold No. 302 – A CLOSER LOOK". California's Gold. Huell Howser Productions. Retrieved 2009-04-27.
"A Closer Look- California’s Gold (302)". Huell Howser Archive. Chapman University. 1992. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
Further reading 
- United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Registration Form nominating Camp Lockett dated 25 September 2006, prepared By William R. Manley, Stephen R. Van Wormer, Karen L. Huff, Jerry Schaefer, Sue Wade, Heather Thompson of ASM Affiliates, Inc., 2034 Corte del Nogal, Carlsbad, CA 92011, telephone 760-804-5757
- Power Point presentation used in State Historical Resources Commission 30 October 2009 meeting