The site of the original Camp Douglas, established in 1862 as a military garrison just outside of Salt Lake City, today's Fort Douglas is a historical landmark and a beautifully preserved piece of history. Built to protect the mail route which ran through the city, Camp Douglas was eventually renamed Fort Douglas in 1878 and later retired in 1991, many of the buildings then were turned over to the University of Utah. As a national monument and park, Fort Douglas sees thousands of visitors every year who wish to explore the past, learn about the history of the site, and tour the Fort Douglas Military Museum now located here.
Answering the call of protection for the growing violence against mail and telegraph carriers along their routes, Camp Douglas sprung up to defend and did so brilliantly. The Camp/Fort was also pivotal in acting against growing violence against Confederate soldiers near the close of the Civil War. Though the fort had a tempestuous history as an American-German internment camp during WWI, it eventually disbanded only to be reformed as an army base during the Second World War and then finally an Army Reserve base. A small portion of the site is still used by the Army Reserves.
As it is owned and operated by the University of Utah, Fort Douglas is a wonderful learning complex filled with educational opportunities. Find here a Military Museum, historic buildings restored to their original glory, interpretive guided tours, park activities, and recreational exercises, and also a cemetery dating back to 1862. Fort Douglas is the perfect destination for educational groups of all ages and sizes so stop by on your next student trip to Salt Lake City!
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