Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “The fortnight series of supper-dances in the tea room are among the most charming events of the season,” and, “the Women’s University Club will give a birthday party in honor of it’s grand baby Steinway, or Steinway Baby Grand.” In this new series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”
For three days in late March, 1919, the Camp Lewis Players performed at Seattle’s Metropolitan Theater. The entertainment, the March 22, 1919 edition of the Town Crier reported, included “a new line-up consisting of eight in a number of vaudeville acts and a couple of one-act sketches.” The organization was composed entirely of professional talent from Camp Lewis, “and every member of the company has at one time or another delighted the audience from the vaudeville stage.” The members of the troupe brought their own stage, too. The stage was “a great factor for them in supplying amusement to the convalescent soldiers at the Camp.” Under the supervision of a former Orpheum Circuit actor, Lieutenant Robert Armstrong and Everett Hovfe, a well-known vaudeville star from the East, the Camp Lewis Players toured coast-to-coast.
Camp Lewis would later become Fort Lewis that would later become Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Pierce County. Camp Lewis began in 1917 when the citizens of Pierce County voted to buy acres of land and then donate the land to the federal government for military use. The first recruits moved into the barracks on September 5, 1917. By the time WWI came about, some 60,000 men were stationed there. In 1938 McChord Air Force Base came in. They merged in 2010 into a Joint Base.