Camp Reynolds is a beautiful spot to visit on Angel Island. It is a 20 minute walk from Ayala Cove and offers spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and small beach that’s great for beach combing. Camp Reynolds has a wonderful collection of Civil War era buildings and two restored buildings that are open to the public on weekends. Many people are surprised to find “Civil War” buildings on Angel Island however after California became a state it declared itself Union with neighboring Nevada going Confederate. Washington soon became concerned about the lack of defense in the San Francisco Bay and several studies were commissioned for comprehensive defense of the Bay. Angel Island was the “second line” of defense in this scenario. It would take a few years but finally in 1863 construction began of the first military post on Angel Island, Camp Reynolds. Progress was slow; the evidence suggests that most of the command did not get into quarters before winter—they spent the winter in tents. Two officers’ quarters were completed in 1863, together with some service buildings, but the balance of the original Camp Reynolds buildings, including two sets of barracks for enlisted men, were not completed until 1864. In that same year, the post’s first hospital (there would be three over the years) was built some distance to the north, in a cove that had been known as Racoon Bay or Glenn Cove. After the Civil War, Camp Reynolds was reopened as a depot for recruits and a training post for the infantry. Serving at Camp Reynolds was hard on enlisted men. It was a cold, foggy post with only a government steam launch to bring word of the outside world. Officers and officers wives would go off on that steam launch to San Francisco to engage in a social life but the enlisted men were not given that opportunity. Today due to the work of Dr. Robert and Mary Noyes the Bake House and Officers Quarters 11 has been restored and is open to the public on most weekend days.