Learn Our History
A Look Back...
Rich in military history, the Officer’s Club at Adair, is one of several repurposed Air Force Station buildings that makes up the center of Adair Village. The history of Adair Village did not start with the Air Force, however, but the United States Army.
During World War II, six months before Pearl Harbor, the United States Army started to survey land in Willamette Valley for a cantonment. After rejecting several sites near Eugene, the Army chose 50,000 acres several miles outside of Corvallis due to the area’s likeness to Germany's climate and terrain. The site was quickly constructed six months after the Pearl Harbor attack, an impressive endeavor given that the effort took the rerouting of railroad tracks and roads, and even relocating cemeteries. The small community of Wells, Oregon was wiped out in the process, as many families, mostly farmers, had to give up their homes in the area and sell their land, livestock and machinery, in order to make way for the cantonment.
Camp Adair opened in the winter of 1942 and was officially dedicated in September 1943. It was named for Lieutenant Henry Rodney Adair, a West Point graduate from Astoria who was the first Oregonian killed in the 1916 Mexican border clash. Camp Adair quickly grew to become Oregon’s second largest city with as many as 30,000 to 50,00 soldiers and civilian employees at a time. For context, Corvallis nearby only had 14,000 people. From 1942 - 1944, over 100,000 soldiers were trained for combat at Camp Adair.
By the end of July 1944, Camp Adair was abandoned as an Army training facility and temporarily turned over to the United States Navy who used the base hospital to treat wounded sailors and marines. For a short while after the war, the Camp also served as a prisoner-of-war (POW) camp. After the end of the war, Camp Adair’s structures were either sold, transported, or repurposed.
The site was eventually converted from Camp Adair to the Adair Air Force Station (AAFS) in 1957. The AAFS was home to the regional Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) Support Facility, a Cold War radar defense system designed to protect the United States against nuclear attack. The station was completely self-sufficient with barracks, dining halls, housing, commissary, and base exchanges. Unfortunately, due to the cost of running and maintaining the facilities, the AAFS went through several waves of partial closings until the station finally shut down all together in September 1969.
The buildings from the closed Air Force Station now form the center of the modern day City of Adair Village. Other former Air Force Station buildings are currently being used today by Santiam Christian School, the Oregon Department of Wildlife, and of course, The Officer's Club.