About Camp Dawson
History of Camp Dawson
Camp Dawson was established on May 7, 1909, when the West Virginia State Legislature authorized the purchase of 196 1/2 acres of land on Dunkard Bottom along the Cheat River in Preston County. The camp was named in honor of William M. O. Dawson, a native of Preston County, who served as Governor from 1905 to 1908.
Troops began training at Camp Dawson during the summer of 1909 and continued until the start of World War I. The camp was not used again until 1928 when it was reestablished as a training site for the West Virginia State Militia.
Units trained regularly at the camp until the outbreak of World War II at which time the United States Government leased the camp for use as a Prisoner of War camp.
Since the original purchase, six additional tracts of land have been acquired bringing the present total acreage to 4,177 1/2 acres.
Training opportunities that are unique to Camp Dawson have attracted our sister services for many years. In all types of weather, many of the various components of Active and Reserve Forces have chosen Camp Dawson for their training site.
Located at 1001 Army Road, Kingwood, WV 26537, Camp Dawson is within close proximity to 50% of the nation’s entire population. The secure, distraction-free setting makes Camp Dawson the perfect location for trainings, events, and conferences. For directions and a list of the closest airports, visit the "Directions" link to the left.
What we offer
Costs for Camp Dawson's facilities and services vary for different types of organizations. A cost estimate will be provided to you upon scheduling. You are welcome to contact Camp Dawson Operations for questions regarding charges prior to scheduling your event.
It is our vision that Camp Dawson continues to grow in support of the war fighter and the ever changing training needs of this nation. We will continue to strive to provide the most up to date and state of the art training opportunities possible for all of our users. For information on some of our future expansion projects please visit the "Expansion" link to the left.
Camp Dawson is located in the small town of Kingwood, West Virginia. In a small valley adjacent to the Cheat River and surrounded by mountains, the beauty of Camp Dawson’s surroundings will take your breath away. Preston County’s home-style restaurants and diners offer a hearty plate of anything from barbecue to buckwheat cakes. Preston County’s unique shops provide a place for visitors to purchase locally made or locally grown items. Delve into the picturesque scenery at state parks, a zoo, historical sites, and even here at Camp Dawson’s lake. See our "Links" page on the left for more information on things to do in Kingwood, Preston County, and the neighboring areas.