The U.S. entered World War I on April 6, 1917. The date bears special significance for the charming town of Chillicothe, as it was Chillicothe’s own Camp Sherman that the U.S. War Department selected for use as an enormous military training camp.
Between April 1917 and the conclusion of the war in October 1918, more than 80,000 civilian men comprising the 83rd and 95th Infantry Divisions matriculated through the camp en route to Europe. They entered as farmers, factory workers, and tradesmen and emerged highly trained soldiers. It was a transformation unique in American military history, but it was necessary to combat the bellicose threats on the far side of the Atlantic.
Chillicothe was transformed in the process as well. A vast amount of land was sold, farms were turned into training courses, and two thousand wooden structures were built in just three months, with some crews boasting they could complete a building in just 20 minutes.
But let’s leave the history alone for now, because here’s the payoff: The city of Chillicothe is hosting Camp Sherman Days July 1-9 as a 100-year commemoration of Camp Sherman and World War I, and they would love to see you and your family there.
NINE DAYS OF CAMP SHERMAN
The main thrust of Camp Sherman Days will be a fantastic weekend of events (July 7-9), but there’s fascinating programming all week long. We’ve got some highlights for you below, but the full rundown is here.
Saturday, July 1: Camp Sherman Days gets off to a fast start with the 9 a.m. Opening Ceremony at Chillicothe’s charming Yoctangee Park, followed immediately by the Run, Walk, & Boom. At 6:30 p.m. go to Paints Stadium for the Paints Baseball Game, complete with fireworks!
Monday, July 2: Head to the Majestic Theater at 6 p.m. for a one-time “Vaudeville” performance. It’ll feature period costumes and music from the early 1900s. Tickets are free, but you must get them in advance here.
Tuesday, July 4: Begin the evening with a dazzling outdoor performance of Tecumseh! Outdoor Drama. Free tickets and complementary “plus one” tickets are available to veterans and active duty military.
Friday, July 7: The city will host a Driving Tour of Camp Sherman at 1 p.m., followed by a Camp Sherman Veterans Salute Parade. Finish the day by returning to the Majestic Theater for a 7 p.m. screening of the renowned film classic, Sergeant York.
Saturday, July 8: Begin with the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast in the fresh air of Yoctangee Park. The Living History & Equipment Display is open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., complete with drill practice and live fire demonstrations as well as food and drink. Have your fill, then head to Veteran Appreciation Day, where the VA and Paints Baseball will honor those who served and are serving today with a special tribute of appreciation.
Sunday, July 9: Cap the week with a 1 p.m. Walking Tour of Chillicothe Camp Sherman Sites.
We’ve said it once, but it bears repeating: This list is far from comprehensive. The week of July 4th is stuffed to the gills with fun events and fascinating exhibits, all highlighting the tireless work of those citizens who gave their time, their toils, and in some cases their lives for the country we love.
That’s Camp Sherman Days. It’ll be a sizzling summertime celebration of America. And you won’t want to miss it.
For more information about Camp Sherman Days, including suggestions for where to stay, visit campshermandays.com.