Out of the Attic: Cameron Station, from depot to dogs to development


In September 1941, the War Department announced plans to build an Army quartermaster depot along the Southern Railway tracks near Cameron Run. At the time, the 164-acre site was located outside Alexandrias city limits in a largely rural area along Duke Street. Another location north of Alexandria and closer to Washington had been considered, but the site along the tracks was ultimately selected for the Pentagon.

Brigadier General Brehon B. Somervell oversaw construction of the quartermaster depot and other military facilities being built in support of the nations defense. The quartermaster depot opened in 1942 as part of the Military District of Washington, providing supply, administrative and vehicle maintenance support, and staffed by military personnel and civilians.
After World War II, the quartermaster depot, seen in this early 1960s photo, became known as Cameron Station. During the Korean War, Cameron Station served as the War Dog Receiving and Holding Station where dogs were processed and prepared for training before being shipped to Fort Carson, Colorado. Cameron Station later became headquarters of the Defense Logistics Agency and the Army Institute of Heraldry.
In 1988 the Base Realignment and Closure Commission selected Cameron Station for closure, citing the inadequacies of warehouses converted to offices and facilities with a variety of security, maintenance, electrical, health and safety problems.
Cameron Stations mission ended in September 1995. The majority of the property was sold for commercial development and the City of Alexandria received more than 60 acres for use as parkland. The new development kept the name Cameron Station and many of the new street names honored people associated with the former quartermaster depot, although the street named for General Somervell has an extra e at the end.

Out of the Attic is provided by the Office of Historic Alexandria.