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 6 (continued)
Heart Mountain Relocation Center

The central area of the relocation center covered two terraces of the Shoshone River, which flows northeasterly along the eastern boundary of the reserve. The administration and residential areas were on the upper terrace (Figures 6.2 and 6.3). Support facilities and the hog and chicken farms were on the lower terrace. All were within the fenced area, guarded by nine watch towers. There was a sentry post at the main entrance and gate houses on the north, west, and south sides of the central area.

map of Heart Mountain Relocation Center
Figure 6.3. Heart Mountain Relocation Center.
(National Archives)
(click image for larger size (~150K) )

Heart Mountain Hospital
Figure 6.4. Heart Mountain Hospital.
(Hikaru Iwasaki photograph, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley)

The hospital complex, on the upper terrace at the far eastern edge of the central area, included 17 buildings with connecting covered walkways (Figure 6.4). Two of the buildings, a hostel and a garage, were former Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) buildings. The administration and staff housing area, just southwest of the hospital complex, included eight office buildings, a fire station, a store, the post office, a garage, a storage building, 15 apartment and dormitory buildings, a recreation building, and a mess hall. Buildings of both the hospital complex and the administration area were laid out adjacent to Central Avenue, which ran southwest-northeast, roughly following the contour of the terrace.

The residential area, laid out on a north-south grid, was divided into 30 blocks, with 20 actually used for barracks. All but Block 7 were twice the size of blocks at the other relocation centers, with each block having 24 barracks, instead of the usual 12, and two mess halls, two recreation halls, and two toilet/laundry buildings. In all, there were 468 20-by-120-ft barracks. Blocks 5 and 20 were open areas, labeled "play areas" on WRA blueprints. Blocks 3, 4, 10, 11, 18, and 19, along the interior of the west side of the fenced area, also were never used for barracks. Victory gardens were located in blocks 10 and 11, and the center's cemetery was located west of block 19. A large pit was dug for use as swimming pool east of the residential area, on the lower terrace near a canal that ran through the center.

CCC building reassembled for school
Figure 6.5. Reassemblign a CCC building for use as a school.
(Tom Parker photograph, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley)

A high school, completed by the evacuees May 27, 1943, was constructed in Blocks 13 and 16. It included a large building with several wings and three smaller buildings. At least one of the smaller buildings was moved to the relocation center from a nearby CCC camp (Figure 6.5).

On the lower terrace, next to the railroad, were the warehouse and motor pool area, with 60 buildings (Figure 6.6). Fifteen of the buildings were from a nearby CCC camp, and one was formerly a Works Progress Administration (WPA) building. Nearby to the northeast were three root cellars, a tool shed, and a relocated WPA shelter. The military police area was located at the entrance from State Highway 11 (now U.S. Highway Alt. 14). The WRA map indicates there were 19 buildings there, including a visitor building recycled from the CCC camp. Later, the military police contingent was reduced, and four buildings were relocated to the administration and staff housing area.

Also on the lower terrace, in the northeast portion of the camp, were the hog and chicken farms and the sewage disposal plant. At the hog farm, the WRA blueprint lists 13 hog sheds, loading chutes, and other facilities. At the chicken farm there were at least 23 chicken houses, a warehouse, a granary, a grain bin, some privies, and a lunch shelter. All of the sizable buildings were from a CCC camp. The sewage disposal plant included sludge beds, a pump house, a chlorination house, and a large buried "Imhoff" tank (Figure 6.7).

Evacuees arriving
Figure 6.6. Evacuees arriving through the warehouse area.
(Tom Parker photograph, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley)
Imhoff tank
Figure 6.7. Imhoff tank under construction at the sewage disposal plant; note size of structures in relation to workers.
(WRA photograph, National Archives)

Continued Continue


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

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