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Granada in Prowers County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Amache - Granada Relocation Center

 
 
Granada Relocation Center Marker #1 - Amache image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 8, 2010
1. Granada Relocation Center Marker #1 - Amache
Inscription.
Marker No. 1:
Amache
During the first months of World II, the United States Government ordered over 110,000 men, women, and children of Japanese descent to leave their homes, and incarcerated them in remote, military-style camps. The government order came in response to a rising tide of racial prejudice against Japanese Americans and growing national security fears, which prevailed over the protection of individual civil liberties. Yet two-thirds of these individuals were American citizens and not one was ever convicted of espionage or sabotage.

From August 1942 to October 1945, more than 10,000 people lived behind barbed wire and under armed guard here at the Granada Relocation Center, also known as Amache.

"I have brooded about this whole episode on and off the past three decades for it is illustrative of how an entire society can somehow plunge off course."
S. Eisenhower, first Director of the War Relocation Authority, younger brother of U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1974

Marker No. 2:
Behind the Fence: Daily Life
Standing behind the four-strand barbed wire fence here on a morning in the early 1940s, you would have seen the evacuees hurrying from their sleeping quarters, trying to be among the first in line
Amache Relocation Center Marker #2 - Behind the Fence image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 8, 2010
2. Amache Relocation Center Marker #2 - Behind the Fence
for the mess halls, latrines, and showers. With more than 7,300 residents, the Amache camp was the tenth largest community in Colorado.

Internees from a variety of professional, vocational and educational backgrounds now worked at a limited range of jobs, including farming and staffing the camp hospital. All received a fraction of their former income. Some 2,000 children and teens attended camp schools.

At the end of the day, a family of six would gather in a 20'x24' portion of a barracks building. These quarters had no running water, no toilet, poor insulation, and a single light bulb. Furnishings consisted of canvas cots, thin cotton mattresses, and a coal burning stove for heat.

Evacuees remember the lack of privacy as one of the most oppressive aspects of camp life. The regimented, communal life of the camp diminished the older generation's traditional leadership role and disrupted the family unit, impacting Japanese American communities and families for years after the camp closed.

Today
After the internment camp closed near the end of World War II, hundreds of Amache buildings were removed or demolished. The site lay abandoned and largely ignored for decades. But the former internees did not forget - and in 1976, after decades of silence, they found their voice: they began an annual pilgrimage to Amache as a way to
Amache Relocation Center Marker #3 - Today image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 8, 2010
3. Amache Relocation Center Marker #3 - Today
preserve the memory of their internment.

Many people and organizations have been involved in preserving the site. The Amache Historical Society and the Denver Central Optimist Club (reorganized today as the Amache Club) have played key roles in preserving the site since the 1970s.

A younger generation of local residents is now making sure that this chapter of American history is not forgotten. Granada High School students formed the Amache Preservation Society in 1990 and now work in partnership with the internees and their descendants, the Town of Granada (current owners of the site) and nonprofit organizations to maintain and protect the site and to increase public awareness about what happened here. Students have re-landscaped the camp cemetery, installed signs, collected historical documents and artifacts, recorded oral histories, and are largely responsible for maintaining the historic site and cemetery.

Exploring Amache
At first glance, one may think that nothing remains of the Granada Relocation Center. But even though over 560 buildings were removed or demolished after the center closed in 1945, much can be seen of the facility.

Can you see the road network and the concrete building foundations? They provide an unusually clear image of the size and layout of the compound, giving a strong sense of the strict military
Amache Relocation Center Marker #4 - Exploring Amache image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 8, 2010
4. Amache Relocation Center Marker #4 - Exploring Amache
regimentation of the site.

Beyond this developed area, over 9,500 acres of the relocation camp were used for a variety of agricultural undertakings. That land, located south of the Arkansas River, extended two to four miles west, north and east.

Please respect the private property that surrounds Amache today.
 
Erected by National Park Service, Town of Granada, and Amache Preservation Society.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
 
Location. 38° 3.367′ N, 102° 19.768′ W. Marker is in Granada, Colorado, in Prowers County. Marker can be reached from County Road 235/10 south of West Amache Road. Click for map. Marker is 1/2 mile south of US 50 on County Road 235/10. Marker is in this post office area: Granada CO 81041, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Granada Relocation Center (Amache) (within shouting distance of this marker); Amache Remembered (approx. 0.9 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  Amache Remembered. A comprehensive website on the Granada Relocation Center by the Amache Preservation Society. Includes a driving tour and podcasts. (Submitted on April 28, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.)
Close Up of Camp Amache Map image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 8, 2010
5. Close Up of Camp Amache Map
 
 
Categories. Asian AmericansCivil RightsWar, World II
 
Amache - Granada Relocation Center Markers image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 082010
6. Amache - Granada Relocation Center Markers
Amache image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 8, 2010
7. Amache
Sign reads: The camp was officially named Granada Relocation Center by the War Relocation Authority, but to prevent confusion with the town of Granada, the post office was named Amache. From then on it became known as Amache Relocation Center.
Site of Post Office image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 8, 2010
8. Site of Post Office
Sign reads: Lamar mayor named the post office after Amache; the Cheyenne princess married to John W. Prowers, for whom this county was named.
Site of COOP Store image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 8, 2010
9. Site of COOP Store
Sign reads: It was financed and operated by internees. In January 1943, $2,500.00 was invested by the internees to fund the enterprise.
Site of Mess Hall image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 8, 2010
10. Site of Mess Hall
Sign reads: There was one community mess hall for each block.
Site of Guard Tower image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 8, 2010
11. Site of Guard Tower
Sign reads: Equipped with a machine gun and search light, it was staffed by U.S. Army Military Police.
Amache Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 8, 2010
12. Amache Cemetery
The cemetery is located in the southwest corner of the site
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 701 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   9, 10, 11. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   12. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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