Camps Map

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United States Map with ten Concentration Camps labeled by camp name

Amache (Granada)
Location: Amache, CO
Peak population: 7,318
Date opened: August 27, 1942
Date closed: October 15, 1945

The Granada War Relocation Center in Colorado (better known as Amache) held people from California: Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Clara Counties (the Merced and Santa Anita Assembly Centers), the northern California coast, the west Sacramento Valley, and the northern San Joaquin Valley.

Located at 3,600 feet of elevation on a windswept prairie in southeastern Colorado, Amache was 140 miles east of Pueblo, 16 miles east of Lamar, and 15 miles west of the Kansas border. The Arkansas River ran 2.5 miles north of the camp, but the 10,500 acres of land was arid when not irrigated. Vegetation included wild grasses, sagebrush, and prickly pear cactus.

Colorado was in the only state in which the governor, Ralph Carr, publicly welcomed the Japanese Americans who were forcibly relocated there. Amache was the smallest camp in terms of population.

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Gila River
Location: Rivers, AZ
Peak population: 13,348
Date opened: June 20, 1942
Date closed: November 16, 1945

Gila River held people from Los Angeles, Sacramento, Ventura, and Amador Counties. There were 3,000 sent from southern San Joaquin Valley and 155 Japanese immigrants from Hawaiʻi.

Gila River was located on a Native American reservation, the Gila River Indian Reservation, in Pinal County, Arizona, 50 miles south of Phoenix and 3 miles north of the Sacaton Mountains. It consisted of two separate camps, Canal and Butte, located 3.5 miles apart between irrigation canals. Canal Camp housed people from the Turlock Assembly Center and the San Joaquin Valley, while Butte Camp housed people from the Tulare and Santa Anita Assembly Centers.

Gila River occupied 16,500 acres in an arid desert valley where average summer temperatures reached over 100 degrees. Vegetation included mesquite, creosote, and cactus.

The Gila River War Relocation Center was the only camp to have an active chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League.

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Heart Mountain
Location: Cody, WY
Peak population: 10,767
Date opened: August 12, 1942
Date closed: November 10, 1945

Heart Mountain held people from Los Angeles, Santa Clara, and San Francisco, California; Yakima, Washington; and Oregon state.

It occupied 46,000 acres of open sagebrush desert in Park County in northwest Wyoming, 12 miles northeast of Cody. Heart Mountain, 8 miles to the west, created a dramatic backdrop for the camp, which sat at 4,700 feet of elevation near the Shoshone River. Dust storms were common and winters were severe, with lows dipping to 30 degrees below zero.

The Heart Mountain War Relocation Center is best known for the action taken by the Fair Play Committee and the Heart Mountain Draft Resisters, who highlighted the injustice of the incarceration by reminding us of the suspended constitutional rights of the American citizens who were forcibly imprisoned there.

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Location: Denson, AR
Peak population: 8,497
Date opened: October 6, 1942
Date closed: June 30, 1944

Jerome held people from Los Angeles, Fresno, and Sacramento, California. Many Japanese Americans from Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, were also sent to Jerome and lived alongside the mainland Japanese American population, reflecting the diversity of the Japanese American community.

Jerome was located in the Mississippi River Delta region 12 miles west of the Mississippi River, 18 miles south of McGehee, and 120 miles southeast of Little Rock. The 10,000-acre area was impoverished and consisted of heavily wooded swampland. It was 27 miles south of the Rohwer concentration camp. Summers were hot and humid, with chiggers, mosquitoes, and poisonous snakes.

The Jerome War Relocation Center was the first camp to close, on June 30, 1944.

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Location: Manzanar, CA
Peak population: 10,046
Date opened: June 2, 1942
Date closed: November 21, 1945

Over 90 percent of the people held at Manzanar were from the Los Angeles area; others were from Stockton, California, and Bainbridge Island, Washington.

Located at 3,900 feet of desert elevation in the southern Owens Valley of east-central California, between the towns of Lone Pine and Independence, Manzanar was 220 miles north of Los Angeles and 250 miles south of Reno, Nevada. Its 6,000 acres were framed by the Sierra Nevada mountains to the west and the White-Inyo mountain range to the east. Summers were hot and winters cold, with an annual rainfall under six inches although the area has rivers fed from mountain runoff. The vegetation was mostly sagebrush.

Of special interest is the Manzanar Riot, which took place on December 5–6, 1942. Manzanar was the only camp to have an orphanage for Japanese American children.

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Location: Hunt, ID
Peak population: 9,397
Date opened: August 10, 1942
Date closed: October 28, 1945

Minidoka held people from Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. In 1943, many of the incarcerees from Bainbridge Island, Washington, were transferred to Minidoka from Manzanar by their own request.

Located at 4,000 feet of elevation on uneven terrain in southern Idaho, Minidoka was in the Snake River Plain of Jerome County, 15 miles east of the town of Jerome and 15 miles north of Twin Falls. Its 33,000 acres of arid desert land was dominated by sagebrush; the southern boundary of the camp was formed by the manmade North Side Canal.

Although it had a smaller population in comparison to the larger WRA camps, the Minidoka War Relocation Center had a high percentage of Japanese Americans who volunteered to serve in the military. Many other volunteers were granted leave to work as farm laborers in the local area.

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Location: Parker, AZ
Peak population: 17,814
Date opened: June 2, 1942
Date closed: November 28, 1945

The Poston War Relocation Center held people from Arizona, Oregon, and Washington. The Salinas, Santa Anita, and Pinedale Assembly Centers in California, as well as the Mayer Assembly Center in Arizona, sent their populations to Poston.

Poston was located on a Native American reservation and it was jointly administered by the War Relocation Authority and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Due to its size, Poston was comprised of three camps: Poston I, Poston II, and Poston III, commonly known to the incarcerees as Roastin’, Toastin’, and Dustin’.

Located at 320 feet of elevation in southwestern Arizona on the Colorado River Reservation in Yuma County (now La Paz), Poston was 12 miles south of the town of Parker. It occupied 71,000 acres in the lower Sonoran Desert near the California border, and the Colorado River ran 2.5 miles to the west. The harsh climate featured hot and humid summers and cold winter nights. Dust was a constant problem.

Poston had the largest number of draft resisters.

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Location: McGehee, AR
Peak population: 8,475
Date opened: September 18, 1942
Date closed: November 30, 1945

Rohwer held people from Los Angeles and San Joaquin County, California. To arrive at camp, the incarcerees endured a three-day train ride to Arkansas.

Rohwer was located at 140 feet of elevation in Desha County in southeastern Arkansas, 110 miles southeast of Little Rock and 11 miles north of McGehee. Its 10,161 acres of wooded swampland were in an impoverished area 27 miles north of the Jerome concentration camp; the Mississippi River was 5 miles to the east. Summers were hot and humid, with chiggers and mosquitoes adding to the inmates’ discomfort. Rohwer had severe drainage problems and about half of the site was under swampy water during spring.

The swampy land used for Rohwer was purchased by the Farm Security Administration during the 1930s from farm owners who were unable to pay their taxes. The area was abandoned until 1942 when the War Relocation Authority took it over. Rohwer was the second to the last camp to close, on November 30, 1945.

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Location: Delta, UT
Peak population: 8,130
Date opened: September 11, 1942
Date closed: October 31, 1945

Most of those held in Topaz were from the San Francisco Bay area: Alameda, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties in California.

Located at 4,600 feet of elevation in Millard County, in west-central Utah, Topaz was 16 miles northwest of the town of Delta and 125 miles southwest of Salt Lake City. It occupied 19,800 acres of extremely flat terrain in the Sevier Desert, where temperatures ranged from 106 degrees in summer to below zero in winter. Dust was a major problem.

The Topaz War Relocation Center held many urban Japanese Americans from the San Francisco Bay area such as Mine Okubo, the author of Citizen 13660. Topaz is known for the art and literature that incarcerees created there.

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Tule Lake
Location: Newell, CA
Peak population: 18,789
Date opened: May 27, 1942
Date closed: March 20, 1946

The Tule Lake War Relocation Center was initially setup as a camp but later became a segregation center for the special imprisonment of Japanese Americans who were thought to be “disloyal” to the US. The first 500 people to be sent to Tule Lake were from the Portland and Puyallup Assembly Centers. Others then arrived from the Marysville, Pinedale, Pomona, Sacramento, and Salinas Assembly Centers in California, while some were sent directly from the southern San Joaquin Valley. After it became a segregation center, the camp held people from California, Hawaiʻi, Washington, and Oregon. This was the only camp to have a stockade, or military-style prison.

The camp is located at an elevation of 4,000 feet on a flat, treeless area in Modoc County, 35 miles southeast of Klamath Falls, Oregon, and 10 miles from the town of Tulelake—the town is spelled as one word and the concentration camp as two. Mt. Shasta is 50 miles away and visible on a clear day. The soil is sandy loam; vegetation is sparse grass and sagebrush. Winters are long and cold, while summers are hot and dry.

Tule Lake was the last camp to close.

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