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

clip art

Chapter 16 (continued)
Assembly Centers

Portland Assembly Center, Oregon

Oblique aerial view of the Portland Assembly Center
Figure 16.24. Oblique aerial view of the Portland Assembly Center.
(from DeWitt 1943)
The Portland Assembly Center was centered around the 11-acre Pacific International Livestock Exposition Pavilion. A total of 4,290 people from northeast Oregon and central Washington were interned there between May 2 and September 10, 1942. Over 3,800 evacuees were housed under one roof in the pavilion, which was subdivided into apartments, a kitchen, and dining hall. Outlying buildings included a hospital, a laundry, other support facilities, and the military police compound. The North Portland Harbor, a branch of the Columbia River, is just north of the assembly center (Figure 16.24).

The assembly center site, now the Portland Exposition Center, is in nearly continuous use with trade shows, exhibits, and other events. A memorial plaque in the entrance lobby on the east side of the pavilion describes the role of the center in World War II (Figure 16.25). The front column facade at the original entrance on the north side of the pavilion has been removed. The north entrance is now for emergency use only, since it opens directly onto Marine Drive, a busy multi-lane road (Figures 16.26 and 16.27).

Historical marker inside the Portland Exposition Center
Figure 16.25. Historical marker inside the Portland Exposition Center.
Portland Assembly Center
Figure 16.26. Portland Assembly Center.
(National Archives photograph)
Portland Exposition Center today
Figure 16.27. Portland Exposition Center today.

World War II-era photographs of the assembly center dining hall show the current ceiling trusses and columns, which have since been painted black (Figures 16.28 and 16.29). The assembly center buildings surrounding the exposition hall are gone, replaced by asphalt parking lots for exhibitors and the general public. Quonset huts visible in the aerial photograph are gone as well, replaced by more parking lots. Where support buildings once stood, west of Force Avenue, there are now stockyards for farm animal exhibition.

Portland Assembly Center
Figure 16.28. Portland Assembly Center.
(National Archives photograph)
Interior of the Portland Exposition Center
Figure 16.29. Interior of the Portland Exposition Center.

Continued Continue


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

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