On-line Book
Book Cover
Cover Page


Table of Contents





Brief History

Gila River


Heart Mountain







Tule Lake

Isolation Centers

Add'l Facilities

Assembly Centers

DoJ and US Army Facilities



Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Confinement and Ethnicity:
Barbed wire divider
An Overview of World War II
Japanese American Relocation Sites

by J. Burton, M. Farrell, F. Lord, and R. Lord

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Chapter 13
Tule Lake Relocation Center

The Tule Lake Relocation Center is in Modoc County, California, 35 miles southeast of Klamath Falls, Oregon, and about 10 miles from the town of Tulelake. The town is spelled as one word and the relocation center as two. The post office designation for the relocation center was Newell, the name of the post office, general store, and gas station at a nearby crossroads.

The relocation center reserve, which encompassed 7,400 acres, is presently a mix of public, state, and private land (Figures 13.1 and 13.2). Situated in the Klamath Valley, the Tule Lake Relocation Center was located within an underdeveloped federal reclamation district, authorized in 1905. The Modoc Project was begun in the Klamath Reclamation District in 1920 to drain Tule Lake for use as farm land. By 1941, 3,500 acres of former lake bed were under cultivation (Jacoby 1996). Large remnants of Tule Lake, now a National Wildlife Refuge, lie within a few miles of the relocation center site.

Land status, Tule Lake Relocation Center and vicinity
Figure 13.1. Land status, Tule Lake Relocation Center and vicinity.
(click image for larger size (~181K) )

Tule Lake Relocation Center
Figure 13.2. Tule Lake Relocation Center.
(click image for larger size (~72K) )

Tule Lake and Mt. Shasta
Figure 13.3. Tule Lake and Mt. Shasta.
The lacustrine geology is evident: the relocation center site and surrounding area is flat and treeless, and the sandy loam soil is interspersed with the abundant remains of freshwater mollusks. To the south and west vulcanism is prominent: Tule Lake was just north of lava flows emanating from the Medicine Lake Highlands, the eastern-most promontory of the Cascade Range. An 800-foot-high bluff, called the Peninsula, is composed of volcanic tuff that was extruded within Pleistocene Tule Lake. The Peninsula lies just south of the developed central area of the relocation center, and there are other smaller bluffs to the north and east. Lava Beds National Monument includes two areas southwest of the relocation center, one just south of the Peninsula and another, much larger area at the northern end of the Medicine Lake Highlands. Fifty miles south on a clear day 14,000 foot Mt. Shasta is visible (Figure 13.3). At an elevation of 4,000 feet, the winters at Tule Lake are long and cold and the summers hot and dry. The vegetation consists of a sparse growth of grass, tules, and sagebrush.

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Last Modified: Fri, Sep 1 2000 07:08:48 pm PDT

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