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Heart Mountain Relocation Center - Ralston, WY
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 44° 40.225 W 108° 56.501
12T E 663155 N 4948399
Quick Description: Set in an isolated and desolate area in northern Wyoming, the Heart Mountain Relocation Center was one of ten such camps built to hold Japanese Americans uprooted from their west coast homes during World War II.
Location: Wyoming, United States
Date Posted: 4/19/2019 6:39:47 PM
Waymark Code: WM10DQC
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Alfouine
Views: 1

Long Description:
After the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, the U.S. government considered Japanese American citizens to be a potential threat to the security of the country, in particular those living along the Pacific coast, the most likely scene of a Japanese invasion on the U.S. mainland, should one occur. As a result, tens of thousands of Japanese Americans were incarcerated in detention centers in inland areas, usually in remote areas on government owned land. These fears proved totally unfounded, as U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry, on the whole, proved patriotic to their new homeland, with many serving meritoriously in the armed forces through the war. In fact, a great many from the internment camps served, many with distinction.

Today the 123 acre site of the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, a National Historic Landmark, is one of the most intact of the ten relocation centres built during the war. Several buildings survive on the site, including the most intact hospital complex of the ten camps, as well as other structures and features.

In 2011 the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center opened, dedicated to passing on the Heart Mountain story to future generations. The museum houses photographs, artifacts, oral histories and interactive exhibits depicting the wartime relocation of Japanese Americans, anti-Asian prejudice in America and the factors which lead to their enforced relocation and confinement.

Just inside the front entrance to the centre, on a cabinet being used as a lectern, is the museum's guest book. It is beside the Ford Foundation sign at the entrance to the Special Exhibition Area.

The camp gained National Historic Landmark status in 2007. Now, with the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center, visitors can take an even more in-depth look at the history and legacy of the 14,000 internees who were relocated to Heart Mountain following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Managed by the Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation, a nonprofit committed to preserving and promoting the camp, opening the learning center is a long-time dream of the group’s founders coming to life.
From Travel Wyoming
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Heart Mountain Relocation Center
The Heart Mountain Relocation Center was constructed during the early summer of 1942 as one of ten internment camps used to incarcerate Japanese-Americans excluded from the West Coast under the provisions of Executive Order 9066 signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II... The relocation center lies at an elevation of 4,700 feet and is named after the Heart Mountain Butte, a detached limestone fault block eight miles to the west. The butte, which stands 8,123 feet high, towers over the surrounding landscape...

...The core developed or fenced area of the camp contained approximately 740 acres and was ringed by a barbed wire perimeter fence anchored by nine guard towers... The National Historic Landmark district encompasses 123.93 acres of land, which includes 73.93 acres owned by the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) and 50 acres purchased by the Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation. Land administered by the BOR includes the site of the original hospital complex and a portion of the site of the administrative complex that contains a reconstruction of the Honor Roll memorial, which was built by internees shortly before the camp closed on 10 November 1945. The section owned by the Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation includes the site of the Heart Mountain Relocation Center's military police compound...

Construction of the Heart Mountain Relocation Center began on 15 June 1942 and employed over 2,000 laborers... The Heart Mountain Relocation Center officially opened on 11 August 1942, although construction was not completed until 6 September 1942. The majority of internees came from the Pomona or Santa Anita assembly centers in California, while others came from an assembly center in Portland, Oregon. By 1 January 1943, the maximum camp population was recorded at 10,767 internees. This dramatic shift in demographics placed the Heart Mountain Relocation Center as the third largest community in Wyoming. The Heart Mountain Relocation Center was the fourth largest camp and the seventh longest occupied out of the ten relocation centers. It officially closed on 10 November 1945.

Largely unoccupied for many years, the site was subject to vandalism and litter. Currently, the majority of the site's original acreage is privately owned and is cultivated for the growing of crops such as barley and sugar beets. Otherwise, the land is overgrown with sagebrush and buffalo grass. The 73.93 acres of land owned by the Bureau of Reclamation still retains original road patterns, building foundations, four intact buildings, the administrative complex, and the most intact hospital complex compared to the other nine internment camps. Land purchased by the Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation, which is adjacent to and just southeast of the Bureau of Reclamation land, is currently used for agricultural purposes, and is the original site of the camp's military police compound. The surviving buildings and other contributing features significantly convey the history of this camp and are a strong reminder of the time of its occupancy, providing a vivid testament to the desolation of this camp.
From the NRHP Nomination Form

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Date Guest Book Was Started: 5/21/1017

Owners Name: Heart Mountain Relocation Center

Location Type: Attraction/Business

Nearest Parking Spot: Not Listed

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