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Camp Upton was built in 1917 as an induction and training facility for new soldiers who were to fight in World War I. The camp was named after Major General Emory Upton, a Union general in the Civil War. Between World War I and II, the camp was used by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Many of the trees on the site were planted by these men. The camp was reopened in 1940, on the eve of World War II, serving its original purpose as a military training ground.