Confinement and Ethnicity:
An Overview of World War II
Japanese American Relocation Sites
by J. Burton, M. Farrell, F. Lord, and R. Lord
This report provides an overview of the tangible
remains currently left at the sites of the Japanese American internment
during World War II. The main focus is on the War Relocation
Authority's relocation centers, but Department of Justice and U.S. Army
facilities where Japanese Americans were interned are also considered.
The goal of the study has been to provide information for the National
Landmark Theme Study called for in the Manzanar National Historic Site
enabling legislation. Archival research, field visits, and interviews
with former internees provide preliminary documentation about the
architectural remnants, the archeological features, and the artifacts
remaining at the sites. The degree of preservation varies tremendously.
At some locations, modern development has obscured many traces of the
World War II-era buildings and features. At a few sites, relocation
center buildings still stand, and some are still in use. Overall the
physical remains at all the sites are evocative of this very
significant, if shameful, episode in U.S. history, and all appear to
merit National Register of Historic Places or National Historic Landmark
As would be expected with a project taking nearly six
years to complete, the authors are indebted to many. Three of the
authors (Mary, Dick, and Flo) volunteered hundreds of hours of their
time. Funding for the senior author was provided by Manzanar National
Historic Site. The support, encouragement, and patience of park
superintendent Ross Hopkins is gratefully acknowledged. George Teague
supervised the project. AutoCAD maps were drafted by Ron Beckwith.
Uncredited photographs in the report were taken by the authors.
Translations were furnished by Shoko Fujita-Ehrlich and a volunteer.
Mary Blackburn, Roger Daniels, Susumu Toyoda, and Sue Wells pointed out
some egregious errors in earlier printings. The authors would also like
to thank the following persons and institutions for their help:
Ann King Smith
Archaeological Research Services|
Arizona Chapter of the Japanese American
Arizona Daily Star
Coronado National Forest
Crystal City Town Hall
Eastern California Museum
Franklin D. Roosevelt Library
Great Basin Museum
Heart Mountain Memorial Foundation
Kenedy Chamber of Commerce
Klamath National Wildlife Refuge
Lordsburg Information Center
Los Angeles County Fairplex
Los Angeles Times
Mack Alford Correctional Center
Manzanar Advisory Commission
Mayer Public Library
Museum of Northern Arizona
North Dakota State Historical Society
Prescott National Forest
Prescott Public Library
Santa Anita Racetrack
Sharlott Hall Museum
Topaz Museum Foundation
Trans-Sierran Archaeological Research
UCLA Special Collections
Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Twin Falls Chamber of Commerce
United States National Archives
University of Arizona Special Collections
Yuba County Library
WACC Project Number: MANZ 1944 B.
Type of Project: Overview/survey.
Project Team: Jeff Burton, Mary Farrell, Dick and Flo Lord.
Field Work Dates: Intermittently 1994-1999.
Person Days in Field: ~80.
Project Location: Western United States.
Project Scope: Field review of 35 sites associated with Japanese
American internment during WW II.
National Register Status: Seven of the visited sites are listed on
the National Register (Granada 5/18/94; Heart Mtn. 12/19/85; Manzanar
7/39/79; Minidoka 7/10/79; Rohwer 7/30/74; Topaz 1/2/74; and Moab 5/2/94).
Collections Accession Information: MANZ Acc. No. 00014, WACC Acc. No.
01252, WACC Photograph Acc. No. 94:17.
This report is number 74 in a continuing series,
Publications in Anthropology, published by the Western
Archaeological and Conservation Center, 1415 North Sixth Avenue,
Tucson, Arizona 85705.
Reprinted with minor corrections July 2000
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