War Relocation Centers

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War Relocation Centers locations
 

Tule Lake

Location: Modoc County, California
Environmental Conditions: Tule Lake War Relocation Center
was located at an elevation of 4,000 feet on a flat and treeless
terrain with sandy soil. Winters are long and cold and summers
hot and dry. Vegetation is sparse.
Acreage: 7,400
Opened: May 25, 1942
Closed: March 20,1946
Max. Population: 18,789 (December 25, 1944) Demographics:
Originally, more than 3,000 people were sent directly to Tule
Lake from the Sacramento, Pinedale, Pomona, Salinas, and
Marysville assembly centers. Once Tule Lake became a
segregation center, the population came from all five western
states and Hawaii.

Manzanar

Location: Inyo County, California
Environmental Conditions: Located at 3,900 feet at the eastern
base of the Sierra Nevada in the Owens Valley. Temperatures
reach well over 100 degrees in summer and below freezing in
winter. Strong winds and dust storms are frequent.
Acreage: 6,000
Opened: March 21, 1942 (Owens Valley Reception Center); June
1, 1942 (Manzanar War Relocation Center).
Closed: November 21, 1945
Max. Population: 10,046 (September 22, 1942) Demographics:
Most internees were from the Los Angeles area, Terminal Island,
and the San Fernando Valley. Others came from the San Joaquin
Valley and Bainbridge Island, Washington; the latter transferred
to Minidoka in 1943.

Minidoka (Hunt)

Location: Jerome County, Idaho
Environmental Conditions: elevation 4,000 ft – high desert.
Temperatures ranged from the low 100s in summer to –30 in the
winter. When the rains came in autumn the entire camp turned to
mud, often knee deep. Acreage: External boundaries included
33,000 acres. Administration and residential areas included 950
acres in the west-central portion.
Opened: August 10, 1942
Closed: October 28, 1945
Max. Population: 9,397 (March 1, 1943)
Demographics: Internees primarily came from Seattle, WA,
Portland, OR, and surrounding areas. In 1943, 1,900 internees
from Tule Lake and 227 internees from Manzanar (originally
from Bainbridge Island, WA) were transferred to Minidoka at
their request. Additionally, approximately 200 Japanese Alaskans
were interned at Minidoka.

Gila River

Location: Southern Arizona
Environmental Conditions: Located in the desert, temperatures
reached 125 degrees, with summer temperatures consistently over
100 degrees. Dust storms were also a frequent problem.
Opened: July 10, 1942
Closed: Canal Camp: September 28, 1945
Butte Camp: November 10, 1945
Max. Population: 13,348 (November 1942)
Demographics: Internees primarily came from Fresno, Santa
Barbara, San Joaquin, Solano, Contra Costa, Ventura and Los
Angeles Counties via the Turlock, Tulare, and Santa Anita
assembly centers. Three thousand people came directly to Gila
River from their West Coast homes.

Rohwer

Location: Desha County, Arkansas
Environmental Conditions: Rohwer War Relocation Center was
located five miles west of the Mississippi River in a swampy area
intertwined with canals, creeks, and bayous. Forests had once
covered the area, but by 1940 had been replaced by agricultural
fields. Rohwer was at an elevation of 140 feet.
Acreage: 10,161
Opened: September 18, 1942
Closed: November 30, 1944
Max. Population: 8,475 (March 11, 1943)
Demographics: Most people interned at Rohwer War Relocation
Center came from Los Angeles and San Joaquin counties in
California via the Santa Anita and Stockton assembly centers.

Topaz (Central Utah)

Location: Millard County, 16 miles NW of Delta, UT.
Environmental Conditions: elevation 4,600 ft, within the Sevier
Desert – high desert brush with high winds and temperatures
ranging from 106 degrees in summer to –30 degrees in winter.
Acreage: 19,800
Opened: September 11, 1942
Closed: October 31, 1945
Max. Population: 8,130 (March 17, 1943) Demographics:
Internees were primarily from the San Francisco Bay Area,
predominantly from Tanforan Assembly Center.

Heart Mountain

Location: Park County, Wyoming
Environmental Conditions: Located on the terrace of the
Shoshone River at an elevation of 4,700 feet. The terrain was
open sagebrush desert.
Acreage: 20,000
Opened: August 11, 1942
Closed: November 10, 1945
Max. Population: 10,767 (January 1, 1943) Demographics:
Most people came from Los Angeles, Santa Clara, and San
Francisco counties in California and Yakima and Washington
counties in Washington. Many came through the Santa Anita and
Pomona assembly centers in California.

Granada (Amache)

Location: Prowers County, Colorado
Environmental Conditions: Located on a hilltop at 3,500 ft.,
Granada was arid and dusty.
Acreage: 10,500
Opened: August, 27, 1942
Closed: January 27, 1946
Max Population: 7,597 (October 1942)
Demographics: Most internees came from Los Angeles, Sonoma,
Yolo, Stanislaus, Sacramento and Merced counties via the
Merced and Santa Anita assembly centers. The population was
equally split between urban and rural backgrounds.

Poston (Colorado River)

Location: La Paz County, AZ (Yuma County during WWII and
until 1983)
Environmental Conditions: elevation 320 ft – lower Sonoran
desert – perhaps the hottest of all the camps. Acreage: 71,000.
Poston was the largest of all the camps.
Opened: BIA administered the center when it was an assembly
center, and after it became a relocation center until December
1943 when WRA took full control. Date of first arrival was May
8, 1942
Closed: November 28, 1945
Max. Population: 17,814 (September 2, 1942)
Demographics: Internees were from Kern County, Fresno,
Monterey Bay Area, Sacramento County, southern Arizona,
southern CA (including San Diego). They came from the Mayer,
Salinas, Santa Anita and Pinedale assembly centers.

Jerome

Location: Chicot and Drew Counties, Arkansas Environmental
Conditions:
Jerome War Relocation Center was located 12 miles
from the Mississippi River at an elevation of 130 feet. The area
was once covered with forests, but is now primarily agricultural
land. The Big and Crooked Bayous flow from north to south in
the central and eastern part of the former relocation center.
Acreage: 10,000 Opened: October 6, 1942 Closed: June 1944
Max. Population: 8,497 (November 1942) Demographics: Most
people interned at Jerome War Relocation Center came from Los
Angeles, Fresno, and Sacramento counties in California, through
the Santa Anita and Fresno assembly centers. 811 people came
from Hawaii.
 

U.S. Department of Justice & Army Facilities

During World War II, over 7,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese from Latin America were held in internment camps run by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, part of the U.S. Department of Justice. There were twenty-seven Department of Justice Camps, eight of which (in Texas, Idaho, North Dakota, New Mexico, and Montana) held Japanese Americans. The camps were guarded by Border Patrol agents rather than military police and were intended for non-citizens including Buddhist ministers, Japanese language instructors, newspaper workers, and other community leaders. In addition, 2,210 persons of Japanese ancestry taken from 12 Latin American countries by the U. S. State and Justice Departments were held at the Department of Justice Camps. Approximately 1,800 were Japanese Peruvians. The U.S. intended to use them in potential hostage exchanges with Japan. After the war, 1,400 were not allowed to return to their Latin American homes and more than 900 Japanese Peruvians were “voluntarily” deported to Japan. Three hundred fought deportation in the courts and were allowed to settle in the U.S. At least 14 U.S. Army facilities also held Japanese Americans during World War II. Four of the facilities were in Hawaii, one was in Alaska; the remaining nine facilities were within the contiguous United States.

Last updated: September 16, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 1240
Tulelake , CA 96134

Phone:

530 260-0537
or call 5306678113 for the Lava Beds National Monument Visitor Center.

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