Heart Mountain Japanese Internment Camp
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.
Opened: August 11, 1942
Closed: November 10, 1945
Max. Population: 10,767 (January 1, 1943)
Demographics: Most people were from Los Angeles, Santa Clara, and San Francisco counties in California and Yakima and Washington counties in Washington. Most came to Heart Mountain via the Santa Anita and Pomona assembly centers.
The Heart Mountain Relocation Center, named after nearby Heart Mountain Butte, was one of ten internment camps used to incarcerate Japanese Americans excluded from the West Coast during World War II.The Heart Mountain Relocation Center is located in Park County between the towns of Cody and Powell in the northwestern corner of Wyoming, 60 miles (96.6 km) east of Yellowstone National Park and 45 miles (72.4 km) south of the Montana state line. The location for the center was selected because it was remote and yet convenient. The land was managed by the federal Bureau of Reclamation, which before the war had initiated a major irrigation project in the area and had already constructed canals, buildings, and some infrastructure. The site was adjacent to a railroad spur and depot where internees could be off-loaded and processed.
Notable Heart Mountain internees :
* Bill Hosokawa (1915–2007), a Japanese American author and journalist.
Images From Heart Mountain
Coal Crew at Heart Mountain, Wyoming. It takes approximately four carloads of coal a day to provide heat for residents at this Wyoming relocation center during the cold winter months. Here a crew of men load trucks from the coal gondola for delivery to barracks.
Court Session at Heart Mountain, Wyoming. The court is composed of seven judges selected from the residents and appointed by the project director. They preside over infractions of center regulations and ordinary civil court cases.
Poster Crew at Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Heart Mountain, Wyoming. The poster crew turns out fire and safety posters, announcements for public gatherings and dances, and some general instructions.
High School Campus at Heart Mountain, Wyoming. Classes are housed in tarpaper-covered, barrack-style buildings originally designed as living quarters for the evacuees.
Densho is a Japanese term meaning "to pass on to the next generation," or to leave a legacy. The legacy we offer is an American story with continuing relevance. Find out more about Densho.
National Archives Japanese American Internment Research
The records on Japanese-American internees can provide a wealth of information for researchers and family historians. See the National Archives' online guide and research path.
Confinement and Ethnicity:
An Overview of World War II
Japanese American Relocation Sites
Go For Broke
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