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Camp Evans Historic District

Camp Evans Historic District
The Marconi Hotel dedicated in 1914[2] at the Belmar Receiving Station is now InfoAge's "main campus"[3]
Camp Evans Historic District is located in New Jersey
Nearest city Belmar, New Jersey
Area 55 acres (22 ha)
Built 1912-4
NRHP Reference # 02000274[4]
Added to NRHP March 26, 2002

Camp Evans Historic District is an area of the Camp Evans Formerly Used Defense Site in Wall Township, New Jersey. The site of the military installation ([5]) is noted for a 1914 transatlantic radio receiver and various World War II/Cold War laboratories of the United States Army (e.g., signal, vacuum tube, dosimetry, & photo-optics). From 1925 to 1935 the site was the headquarters for the New Jersey Ku Klux Klan.[6]


  • Belmar Receiving Station 1
  • Klan 2
  • Evans Signal Laboratory 3
  • Camp Evans 4
    • Cold War events 4.1
  • Closure 5
  • References 6

Belmar Receiving Station

The Belmar Receiving Station was established near the Belmar community together with a separate transatlantic transmitting facility at New Brunswick, New Jersey, by the American Marconi Company. The Belmar station included "a mile-long bronze-wire receiving antenna strung on six 400 foot tall masts with three 150 foot balancing towers along the Shark River. Outgoing Morse-code messages were sent via a telegraph land-line from the Belmar Station to the transmitter." The receiving site also had a telegraph land-line to a New York office.[7]

Original buildings[8] () were built by the J.G. White Engineering Corp. between 1912 and 1914 as part of Guglielmo Marconi's "wireless girdle"[9] around the Earth. In one of the buildings being constructed for the Belmar station, the regenerative circuit was demonstrated on January 31/February 1, 1914.

In April 1917, the Belmar station was acquired as part of the Navy's World War I "Trans-Atlantic Communication System" and after the November 1918 Armistice with Germany, Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America regained the Belmar station,[10] which Radio Corporation of America owned from October 1919 until 1924.[11]


The Ku Klux Klan owned the site from 1925 to 1935.[6]

The Young People's Association for the Propagation of the Gospel purchased the Belmar station in 1936,[12] and The King's College opened in September 1938—when it was denied accreditation it relocated (currently is in the Empire State Building.)

The Signal Corps Radar Laboratory (SCRL) of Fort Hancock[13] (formerly "Field Laboratory No. 3")[14] in the late 1930s used "a field set-up at" the Belmar station to compare US radars with the British CH-CHL Radars.[15] (additional testing of hardware was "often done" at the nearby Twin Lights radar station,[16] e.g., a trial radar network in 1939.)

SCR-271 at Camp Evans

Evans Signal Laboratory

In 1941 the Belmar radio "site was renamed the Evans Signal Laboratory"[17] after Wall Township purchased "the original Marconi buildings and the surrounding 93 acres" for the Army to move the SCRL.[13] Initial construction "quickly built more than two dozen buildings and structures on the open land to the south and west of the Marconi buildings",[18] including 2 boiler houses, 4 long rectangular one-story buildings, and "two groups of radio antenna shelters".[2] Two models of the SCR-271 radar "were located near the intersection of Monmouth Boulevard and Watson Road" (the model D had a sign for the SCRL Installation and Maintenance School).[19]

Camp Evans

Camp Evans was designated by "War Department General Order, 17 February 1942";[14] the Camp Evans Signal Laboratory was named on March 31, 1942[20] (the date of the camp's dedication);[14] and in December 1942, the War Department directed the Signal Corps General Development Laboratories and the Camp Evans Signal Lab to combine into the Signal Corps Ground Service (SCGS) with headquarters at Bradley Beach, New Jersey (Hotel Grossman). The Camp Evans lab used "VT-158 tube[s] to adapt SCR-268s for" picket ships,[16] modified the SCR-268 into the SCR-602 which detected Japanese kamikazes[21] (producing 12 renumbered AN/TPQ-3 developmental models)[22] and on the SCR-584 tracking radar, did preliminary testing in December 1941 and added identification friend or foe.[18] The lab also improved components (e.g., for the proximity fuse) and established a special unit which tested captured German and Japanese radars.[23] The laboratory was also responsible for Army radar development by civilian companies (e.g., GE AN/CPS-1 early warning radar, Rad Lab AN/CPS-4 height finder, Bendix AN/GPN-2 & LE AN/GPN-6 search sets, and Bendix AN/CPN-18 secondary surveillance radar).[18]

By August 1943, Lt Col Paul E. Watson was the director of the Camp Evans Signal Laboratory.[24] In addition to the Signal lab, Camp Evans had the Joint Army-Navy Tube Standardization (JANS) Laboratory and in May 1945, the Signal Corps Ground Services was reformed into the Signal Corps Engineering Laboratories.[18] "Initial experimentation with an enemy mortar and artillery locating radar was conducted at Camp Evans in 1944."[25] By the end of the war Camp Evans had "approximately 134 buildings and structures on approximately 217-acres"[18] including the "Meteorological Branch of the Army Signal Corps"[26] (cf. the Meteorological Branch at McCook Field).[27]

Cold War events

  • Camp Evans' black engineers contributed to electronic research, development, product distribution and training,[28] e.g., Dr. Walter Mcafee at Fort Monmouth[29] "first calculated the speed of the moon" during Project Diana,[30] (it took 40 minutes to travel 15 deg, the width of the fixed radar beam rotating with the Earth.)[31]
  • By August 1951, the Evans Signal Laboratory had a Meteorological Branch[35] in Bldg. 39.[36]
  • After a visit on October 20, 1953. McCarthyism claimed that Camp Evans was a "house of spies", but none of the camp's employees which Senator McCarthy investigated in 1953 and 1954 were ever prosecuted.
  • Camp Evans became part of the Signal Radio Propagation Agency and developed a radar weather set[39]
  • The Evans laboratory transferred from the SCGS to the “U. S. Army Signal Corps Engineering Laboratories” (SCEL), which in April 1958 was renamed the “U. S. Army Signal Corps Research and Development Laboratory.”[40]
  • The Project Diana site[41] with building 9162 was used for the NASA TIROS-1 satellite's downlink antenna ("60-foot dish shaped antenna, Space Sentry")[41] on April 1, 1960, for the first photograph from space[18] (the "ground terminal [was] at Fort Monmouth"[41] in the "laboratory receiving area").[39]
  • [42] at Camp Evans was used for minitrack.[43]
  • The Army Photo-optics Laboratory opened at Camp Evans in 1963.
  • Most Deal Test Site "facilities and personnel" moved to Camp Evans due to the Deal site lease terminating on June 30, 1973.[38]


The 1993 Base Realignment and Closure Commission at the end of the Cold War designated Camp Evans for closure (e.g., the Army Radiation Dosimetry Laboratory closed in 1999)[44] Evans units moved to Fort Monmouth's "Main Post" (Project 42682),[45] and Camp Evans land transferred to the National Park Service. The Infoage Science/History Learning Center, which is a member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers and part of the NASA Digital Learning Network, was established in some of the historic district buildings (e.g., Bldg 9116 has "Radio Room One).[3] A section of the former camp also became the Wall Higher Education Center of the Brookdale Community College.

A district of Camp Evans was listed on the [42] In 2011, Institute for Exploratory Research began in "the basement at the InfoAge Science Center".

External images
Camp map with numbered buildings
Diana Radar" sign
Diana & AN/TLM-18 antennas (min. 19:30 & 19:50)


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ Carl, Fred; Judge, Robert; Swanson, Mark (date  
  5. ^ "Camp Evans (2101578)".  
  6. ^ a b ) on Shark River."2"Klan Has Summer Resort. Buys Old Marconi Radio Station of 396 acres (1.60 km.  
  7. ^ NRHP Registration Form, citation 16: "Description of Marconi’s New Jersey Stations: Belmar and New Brunswick". Wireless World: 414–8. October 1914. 
  8. ^,M1
  9. ^ Bucher - Practical Wireless Telegraphy - 1920 ed
  10. ^ Guglielmo Marconi
  11. ^ "Radio Central". The Book of Radio. 1922. 
  12. ^ The King's College Early History at Camp Evans
  13. ^ a b NRHP Registration Form citation 41
  14. ^ a b c
  15. ^ Vieweger, Arthur L; White, Albert S. (November 1959). "Development of Radar SCR-270" (PDF). C&E Digest (HQ  
  16. ^ a b NRHP Registration Form citation 44: Carl, Fred (June 12, 2003). "Radar Experts Worked at Camp Evans to Protect Panama Canal" (Infoage transcription). The Coast Star. Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
  17. ^ Camp Evans: The Untold Story (PDF) (Report). 2010. Retrieved 2014-05-01. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g Waston, Raymond C; Lange, Robie S (February 16, 2012). National Historic Landmark Nomination: Camp Evans (USDI/NPS NRHP Registration Form) (Report). Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ NRHP Registration Form citation 45:  
  22. ^
  23. ^ NRHP Registration Form citation 51: Zahl, Electronics Away, pp. 46-48.
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ "African American Heritage at Camp Evans" (edited version of documentary article). Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Army Radar: SCR-268, SCR-270 & SCR-271". Camp Evans - Wall, New Jersey. January 3, 2004. Retrieved 2014-04-27. In February 1931 Major General William R. Blair began " 
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^ Camp Evans Oral Histories: Samuel Stein (NTSC Video transcript at "1998?. Retrieved 2014-04-29. Evans Bldg. 36/37. There radars would be assembled in Bldg 37 and installed in trailers with antennas 2- to 30 ft. long (known as Bedspring Radars). … He then was assigned to Bldg. 39, Meteorological Branch. His work there included storm detection. During late 1942, early 1943, the first weather stration was built to service Ft. Monmouth and surrounding area. His group built infrared sensors, did research on solid state materials, tested  
  37. ^
  38. ^ a b
  39. ^ a b vintage film at minute 21:40 (film at end includes Eisenhower's voice broadcast from satellite)
  40. ^
  41. ^ a b c
  42. ^ a b
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^ InfoAge Science/History Learning Center
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