BASE: Advancing a post-military landscape
Introduction
 Project description

Quonset Point

Davisville
 Admin. Triangle
 W'house Triangle

 Camp Endicott
   History
   Photographs
   Map

 Camp Thomas
 Adv. Base Depot
 Adv. Base Proving
 West Davisville

Maps

Historic images

Quonset hut

Credits


Camp Endicott


 Storage yard near water tower #302.

History

Camp Endicott provided training grounds for the Naval Construction Battalion — what came to be known (from the initials "C.B.") as the Seabees. This was a new type of naval division comprised of skilled builders, engineers and tradesmen who were responsible for the construction of overseas bases. Davisville was the second Construction Battalion training center established by the Navy, and over 101,000 Seabees trained and embarked from Davisville during the war. Many training activities took place in the vast complex of Quonset huts between Moscrip Avenue and Smith Street.

Endicott epitomized the 40s-era Davisville: rough and ready, purely utilitarian, built quickly and to serve the immediate war-time purpose. Its structures therefore differ markedly from the post-war 50s-era Administrative Triangle buildings, whose design, scale, and attention to aesthetic detail seem to reflect the confidence of a nation that had just won the war.

... Every design possible was used to save critical materials. The roofs were of the flat type, to save lumber. Masonite was used for interior partitions, doors and hardware were eliminated wherever possible.

from The George Fuller Company: War and Peace,1940-47, contractor for construction at NCBC Davisville

In 1977 Camp Endicott was included on the National Register of Historic Places, partially in the hope that the site, which remained intact but in considerable disrepair, would be preserved. Discussion was given to the idea of locating the Seabee Museum here, but this ended when it was determined that Endicott, located at the heart of the Davisville complex, would be too far off the main road to attract tourists.

Endicott's field of Quonset huts sat for years behind chain link fence. Several huts began to crumple toward the ground; others' arched ribs were exposed. In the spring of 1998 all but one of Endicott's 40' x 100' elephant huts were demolished. Again it was thought that this last hut — Bldg. B-11 — might be of some use to the Seabees for their museum.

During our first photographic outings to Quonset and Davisville, we were most drawn to this area where hundreds of huts had stood deteriorating for so many years. Once the surrounding buildings were torn down, Bldg. B-11 and the now-empty field surrounding it became a focal point, a place holder for what had been. Ultimately, the building's poor condition led to its demise as well. Today Camp Endicott is completely razed. Very little evidence remains of Bldg. B-11 and the string of corrugated warehouses at Endicott's northern edge.



© Copyright 2000 Erik Carlson and Erica Carpenter     Top