Published in The Asbury Park Press on February 21, 2000
by W. Raymond Ollwerther, Executive Editor
Restoring Camp Evans in Wall to show the world its place as a pioneering radio and radar center will be advanced this summer when Landmark Volunteers take over. Fourteen high school students will help clean the site where radio inventor Guglielmo Marconi built the first buildings as part of “the New York-to-London link in the World Encircling Wireless Girdle.”
The teenagers from around the country will also blaze nature trails and paint, and perhaps restore roof tiles, at one of the historic buildings in July. Wall’s Navy ROTC and neighborhood youths will join in.
It’s part of work on the Information Age Learning Center, an interactive display on the history of communications that will include pieces of the first electronic computer, an Apollo 14 computer, a B-52 electronic defense system and Intel computer chips.
Camp Evans played a role in all of them. For most of the 20th century, until it was closed in 1993, the camp was one of the most important sites in the world for telecommunications research and development. Evans also is home to the site of the old Project Diana radar tower. From there, on Jan. 10, 1946, a team of U.S. Signal Corps scientists focused a beam of high-frequency energy at the moon, the first such contact.
The efforts by Landmark Volunteers “recognize the inherent worth of preserving the legacy of Camp Evans,” said Lawrence R. Tormey, assistant director of the group spearheading the work.
Camp Evans should be a major tourist destination. This cleanup is an important starting point in making that happen.
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