Elizabeth Cuff stood on farmland near Annapolis Junction a century ago and watched a new military community arise.
Congress had approved President Woodrow Wilson's request for a declaration of war against Germany. Now the Army was building a center between Baltimore and Washington — a messy, improvised, sprawling installation, arising with astonishing speed — to train hundreds of thousands of troops for the global conflagration they called the Great War.
"Camp Meade was all hustle and bustle," Cuff later recalled. "There were stacks of raw lumber everywhere, and the camp rang with the noise of hammering and sawing and other building sounds. Later, there were boardwalks, but in the beginning you waded ankle deep in dust in dry weather, in mud when it rained."
Camp Meade would grow into Fort Meade, Maryland's largest workplace, an economic force for the region and a key defense center for the nation.