Memorial Park started as a World War I training camp

Journey back in time one hundred years and you’ll find tents, an artillery range and thousands of soldiers sprawling across the land that is now Memorial Park.

This place was the US Army’s Camp Logan, a massive emergency training center during World War I.

“In 1917, when the U.S. entered World War I, the United States had a relatively small army,” explained Michael Quennoz an archaeologist with Gray and Pape. “To provide an army big enough to fight World War I, they established training centers like the one that is here in Houston, Camp Logan, all over the country. After the armistice that ended World War I the US government had no need for all of these various training camps. They literally auctioned off the entire camp.”

In 1925, the city of Houston established a Memorial Park to serve as a tribute to the soldiers who fought in the war. One of the earliest plans to develop the land included the golf course.

“I believe that when it opens the original green space will set at a nickel,” Quennoz said.

Over the next couple of decades, Memorial Park became a beloved spot not just for golfers but also for rodeo trail riders who meet there the night before the big parade.

The 1960s brought the addition of the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. The 70s saw the creation of the nearly three mile jogging loop.

"Good Evening, Friends: A Broadcaster Shares His Life"

Learn more about Dave Ward's biography.