Camp Maxey Texas Army National Guard (TXARNG) training facility eight miles north of Paris, is located in north-central Lamar County, Texas. The installation serves as a training center for the Texas National Guard, and most of the original buildings were demolished or sold and removed; in 1990 the camp sewage-treatment plant was used by the city of Paris.
Camp Maxey, a World War II infantry-training camp ten miles north of Paris, Texas, was named in honor of Samuel Bell Maxey. It was activated on July 15, 1942, under command of Col. C. H. Palmer. The first division to be trained at the camp, the 102d Infantry Division, was organized and activated on September 15, 1942, under Gen. John B. Anderson. Col. Robert C. Annin succeeded Palmer as commander on March 25, 1943. In addition to the army ground forces trained at Camp Maxey, army service forces and army air forces had a part in the development of camp activities. The varied terrain provided facilities for working out problems of infantry training to meet modern battle conditions. An artillery range, obstacle course, infiltration course, and "German Village" were included in training maneuvers. Troop capacity was 44,931. The camp was put on an inactive status on October 1, 1945.
Most of Camp Maxey is centered around the Pat Mayse Lake Project, a popular recreational facility with activities such as swimming, boating, fishing, and camping. When Pat Mayse Lake was constructed, parts of the northern edge of the base were inundated. Pat Mayse Lake is located in the Red River Basin in Lamar County, Texas. The damsite is on Sanders Creek (a tributary of the Red River) approximately one mile south of the town of Chicota, four miles northwest of Powderly and twelve miles north of Paris, Texas. Pat Mayse Lake is a beautiful 6,000 acre lake built and maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Surrounded by 15,000 acres of wooded land, it offers excellent campgrounds with 200 sites providing water and electricity. The US Army Corps of Engineers operates four recreational areas at Pat Mayse Reservoir. Facilities in these areas include boat ramps, campsites, restrooms, swimming beaches, and trailer dump stations. Bank access is also available in the reservoir's tailrace area. A large number of personnel frequent the lake yearly.
Pat Mayse Lake provides excellent opportunities for fishing and hunting. Sport fish species in the lake include largemouth bass, white crappie, sunfish, striped bass, channel and flathead catfish, and other common fish species. These lands are managed for upland game and whitetail deer and are open to the public as a public hunting area. The game species present include deer, fox squirrel, gray squirrel, bobwhite quail, morning dove, cottontail rabbit, raccoon, turkey, and fox.
During the ordnance and explosives removal activities at the former Camp Maxey, extreme measures were taken to inform the public of the UXO removal operations in progress. A safety exclusion zone was established at 450 feet around both areas. The exclusion zone was controlled during this removal action by the use of road barriers and signs. Pat Mayse Lake Staff was notified on a daily basis whenever barriers would block roads or road accesses. Numerous times, unauthorized personnel ignored the road barriers and entered the exclusion zone. Removal operations would cease for safety considerations in order to clear the exclusion zone.
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