Most of old Camp Kearns has disappeared, except maybe in Pam Todd's home.
"I have a house full of artifacts. I'd like to start a museum for them. But we haven't had any luck finding a building for it," she says. She is the founder of the Kearns Historical Society and began collecting artifacts since she first moved to Kearns 37 years ago.
At that time, she was just 15 and missing her Lehi friends that she had left behind in the move.
"So one day I mouthed off in school about how much I hated Kearns," she said. That prompted a teacher at Kearns Junior High to tell her about the community's history as an Army Air Forces base. She became interested, and not only started liking Kearns better but thought the old camp deserved a monument or museum (it still has neither).
She figures she has spent more than $20,000 through the years on eBay and other places collecting artifacts, photos, documents and stories from base veterans, hoping to create that museum some day.
Those artifacts range from paperweights and decorations that sat on the desks of former base commanders to helmets, maps, special orders, radios, full uniforms, base newspapers, a variety of field equipment and even recordings of the old base band.
She collected histories of 500 soldiers who served at Kearns. "Some of them were just obituaries that talked about how they were at Kearns," she said. "Some sent me histories that they wrote up. I talked to others on the phone and then quickly typed up my notes."
She said she has identified 67,000 soldiers who passed through Camp Kearns. "There was never a formal registry of who came through. I started identifying them beginning with 25 names I found in a yearbook," she said.
While Todd has been unable to start her dream museum yet, she has created a sort of a virtual museum online with some stories, photos and information she has collected. The Web address is kearnshistorian.tripod.com.
Anyone wishing to contact her with more information about Kearns history or to help with her dream of a museum may contact her at [email protected].