Camp  Lewis
Camp Lewis, or Tent City, was a community of tents set up to provide accommodations at reasonable rates for Lewis Publishing Company subscribers and others attending the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. 

Edward Garner Lewis  was a poor student in Connecticut that had an early history of creating products that did not do what  was advertised. Products  such  as `Anti-Skeet' mosquito  repellent, and a bogus  anti-smoking aid   were investigated for  being ineffectual. 

In 1894, Lewis and his  wife  moved  to  St. Louis  where he  sold 40,000 dollars  worth of  his `Anti-Skeet.' Lewis used this  money  to launch pyramid  schemes, before  going into  the publishing  business. His `Woman's Magazine had over a  million  subscribers  at its height.

Always  the entrepreneur.  Lewis, was  advertising  the 1904 World's Fair  a year before it  opened. Purchasing  a large tract of  land  north of  Delmar,  he  created a  tent  city, which  he  called  Camp  Lewis. 

The  St. Louis area hotels, cost  much more a  day  than  the   daily 50 cents, that Lewis  charged Fair visitors.  Camp Lewis  was a temporary  (for the length of the Fair), 85-acre campground which  could  accommodate 4,000 people.

Campers stayed in tent-cabins with wood floors, iron beds and electric lights. Public showers and baths, reading equipment and smoking areas were nearby. Guests had direct access to the Fair via  horse-drawn omnibuses; they  could also enjoy nightly campfires and musical entertainment. Lunches cost  25 cents, while dinners were 50 cents.  Alcohol was barred from the camp.

On the Fair's opening night, Lewis shone a gigantic searchlight from the top of his building. It was said that the light was seen as  far  as Kansas City. 

In 1908, Lewis'  empire  started  to  unravel  when  he  went to  trial  for  mail fraud, and though  he  was  acquitted  three times,  the  damage  was  done.  

In 1927, Lewis was indicted for the second time for conspiracy to use the U.S. mail system to defraud people. Acting as his own attorney, he was found guilty and sentenced to five years at the McNeil Island Federal Prison.

Little is known about Lewis’s life in the succeeding decades leading up to his death in 1950. He died on August 10, 1950.

Lee  Gaskins'    AT THE FAIR  The 1904 St. Louis World's   Fair  
                     Web  Design and Art/Illustration   copyrighted  2008 
Camp Lewis hospital and nursery tent
Camp Lewis kitchen
Camp  Lewis