Greenwood, BC Canada
N 49° 05.409 W 118° 40.596
11U E 377593 N 5438831
Quick Description: In April of 1942, the first of what would become 1100 Japanese-Canadians arrived in Greenwood to be interned during World War II.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 7/1/2010 11:09:47 AM
Waymark Code: WM95BE
Mayor W.E. McArthur Sr. asked the Canadian Government for the Japanese-Canadians to come here in order to revive the town.
Many of the buildings were abandoned when the smelter closed in 1919. They remained boarded up until 1942 when they were pressed into service as dormitories, bathhouses and schools for the 1,100 people of Japanese descent interned in Greenwood during the Second World War.
Some large buildings were partitioned off with small rooms to house families with a large communal kitchen. Some even had segregated communal baths. There was some local resentment but soon the local citizens accepted the new residents. From a dying town of 200 with many buildings boarded up for years to a bustling community of around 1400 people. Store keepers benefited, new stores opening, and people were employed.
There was much turmoil as everyone was crowded together and people were forced to adapt. The men were put to work in labour camps away from their families doing construction work in road camps.
Much of the information for this waymark came from the Greenwood Museum and their Website and the BC Provincial Tourism Website.
The building in the pictures is known as the Frazee Block and was built as a retail space in 1897. In 1942 it became Building #10. A bath house was in the basement and laundry sinks were installed on the first and second floors. Today, the building is home to the Greenwood Volunteer Fire Department.