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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 18 (continued)
Federal Bureau of Prisons

Catalina Federal Honor Camp, Arizona

The Catalina Federal Honor Camp is located in the Santa Catalina Mountains, northeast of Tucson, Arizona. The camp was established in 1939 within the Coronado National Forest to provide prison labor to build a highway that would allow Tucson residents easier access to the cooler elevations of the mountain. In the 1940s the Honor Camp included four barracks, a mess hall, a laundry, a powerhouse, a storeroom, a garage, a vocational shop, and a classroom. In addition, there was an administration building, ten masonry and five frame cottages for the prison personnel, and water supply and sewage disposal systems (Bureau of Public Roads 1951:22; Figures 18.5 and 18.6). Other facilities included a chicken and turkey farm and a baseball field (Figure 18.7). On a 10-acre farm below the mountain the inmates raised vegetables.

Catalina Federal Honor Camp, ca. 1945
Figure 18.5. Catalina Federal Honor Camp, ca. 1945.
(photograph courtesy of the Coronado National Forest)
Catalina Federal Honor Camp, ca. 1945
Figure 18.6. Catalina Federal Honor Camp, ca. 1945.
(photograph courtesy of the Coronado National Forest)

During World War II many of the prisoners at the Honor Camp were draft resisters and conscientious objectors. After the Supreme Court upheld his convictions for disobeying curfew and relocation orders, Gordon Hirabayashi completed his sentence there. Some 45 Japanese American draft resisters were also sent to the Honor Camp to serve their sentences. The majority of the resisters were from the Granada Relocation Center in Colorado; others came from Poston and Topaz. In contrast to Gordon Hirabayashi, who had to hitchhike from Seattle to Tucson to serve his sentence, the resisters were transferred to the Honor Camp in leg irons and under armed guard. Ironically, security at the Honor Camp was far less stringent than it was in the Relocation Centers: instead of fences and guard towers, the perimeter of the Honor Camp was marked by white painted boulders. The inmates broke rocks with sledge hammers, cleared trees, and drilled holes for dynamite for the road work, as well as worked to maintain the camp and grow food and cook for the prison population.

Table 18.1. Archeological Features at the Catalina Federal Honor Camp, Coronado National Forest (keyed to Figure 18.13).

1. Rock and concrete bridge/ford.
2. Rock work and culvert.
3. Foundation remains and level area.
4. Foundation remains and level area.
5. Concrete slab.
6. Level area with an imbedded pipe.
7. L-shaped concrete trough.
8. Concrete slab.
9. Concrete and rock post foundation.
10. Concrete slab foundation.
11. Concrete box.
12. Concrete slab foundation of house.
13. Rubble.
14. Concrete valve box.
15. Floor tiles and large segment of concrete foundation.
16. Possible water tank location.
17. Rock bridge or culvert.
18. Large concrete slab.
19. Small cemented rock post (?) with iron pipe.
20. Concrete slab with pipes.
21. Concrete basketball court.
22. Volleyball or tennis court.
23. Small concrete slab.
24. Bleachers and dugout area, with inscriptions in concrete wall cap "1957," "ETO," "IGM," "MANUEL FLOREZ," "ER."
25. Subterranean structures.
26. Subterranean structures.
27. Concrete slab foundation of mess hall and kitchen.
28. Shuffleboard courts.
29. Concrete work, possibly for miniature golf.
30. Rock and concrete retaining wall.
31. Stone and concrete foundation.
32. Retaining wall with inscription "1962."
33. Concrete slabs and rock retaining wall.
34. Water pipe support posts.
35. Concrete slab.
36. Concrete and rock retaining walls.
37. Bridge support with inscription: "8-3-51."

38. Concrete slab and concrete retaining wall.
39. Concrete slab.
40. Level area/slope cut.
41. Rock-lined drainage ditch.
42. Concrete and rock foundation.
43. Concrete slab, scratched in floor: "Kidds AUG. 17, 1971 MONDAY NITE."
44. Post or tower foundation, with inscription: "May 1950."
45. Rock and concrete patio area.
46. Terraces and steps.
47. Rock work and stone tree planter in patio area.
48. Concrete slab foundation of house.
49. Concrete slab foundation of house.
50. Concrete slab foundation of house.
51. Stairway with elaborate terraced retaining walls and non-native trees. Graffiti spray painted on wall "KEITH M. 1987."
52. Main gate, rock and concrete walls.
53. Concrete slab foundation of house.
54. Concrete slab foundation of house.
55. Rock and concrete retaining walls.
56. Rock and concrete power pole support.
57. Rock and concrete power pole support.
58. Concrete slab.
59. Concrete slab.
60. Foot path.
61. Eroded area along footpath showing buried pipes (two water, one sewer).
62. Flat area with concrete slab.
63. Prehistoric bedrock metates.
64. Prehistoric petroglyphs.
65. Weir box, inscription "FRED DIE."
66. Concrete slab foundation of house.
67. Concrete slab foundation of house.
68. Concrete slab foundation of house.
69. Concrete slab foundation of house.
70. Concrete slab foundation of house.
71. Stone bridge and retaining wall.
72. Leveled area with some concrete.
73. Concrete slab.

74. Concrete slab.
75. Concrete slab.
76. Concrete basement.
77. Bridge supports.
78. Bridge supports and retaining walls, with inscription: "T.N.R. 5/20/65."
79. Bridge supports.
80. Supports for possible foot bridge or aqueduct.
81. Concrete support for radio tower.
82. Post or tower foundation, with inscription: "May 1950."
83. Concrete supports.
84. Concrete base.
85. Manhole and collection box.
86. Baseball field location (borrow pit).
87. Concrete slab.
88. Leveled area and rock berm.
89. Rock and concrete water storage structure with wood roof.
90. Concrete box.
91. Rock and concrete walls with overflow pipe.
92. Valve and rock work and pipe, "MILWAUKEE VALVE CO., INC./1148-1158/125 S.W.P. 200 W.O.G."
93. Pipeline bridge.
94. Pipeline bridge.
95. Foot bridge supports and pipeline along cliff face.
96. Concrete slabs and level area.
97. Bridge supports.
98. Concrete block.
99. Concrete slab.
100. Concrete slab and rocks.
101. Culvert and rock walls.
102. Rock and concrete work at Bug Springs.
103. Water tank remains.
104. Trash scatter in disturbed area.
105. Masonry dam on Sycamore Creek.
106. Pipeline(s).
107. Pipeline supports.
108. Leveled area on hillside.

Sign at the site of the Catalina Federal Honor Camp
Figure 18.16. Sign at the site of the Catalina Federal Honor Camp.
After the highway was completed in 1951, the camp was used for juvenile offenders; inmates ran a logging and sawmill operation and a sign shop. In 1967 the camp was turned over to the state of Arizona, which used the camp as a youth rehabilitation center until 1973. All of the buildings were razed in the mid-1970s, but over 100 features, including concrete foundation slabs and rock walls, remain (Figures 18.8-18.13; Table 18.1; Farrell 1986). The Coronado National Forest is developing the old prison site into the "Gordon Hirabayashi Recreation Site" named in honor of its most famous prisoner (Figures 18.14-18.16). The site serves as a campground and trail head, and will include interpretive signs which will focus on prisoners' experiences and the Constitutional issues raised by the internment during World War II.

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

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