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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Ralston in Park County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
 

M.P. Station, Guard Tower, Rail & Train Station

 
 
M.P. Station, Guard Tower, Rail & Train Station Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2015
1. M.P. Station, Guard Tower, Rail & Train Station Marker
Caption: (middle left) Guard tower; (top right) Boarding the train to leave Heart Mountain, July 1945.; (middle right) Top: Military police station, Below: Guard tower and barbed wire fence.; (bottom right) Military police standing in formation.
Inscription. As you look through the site glass, to the left of the intersection of Highway 14A and Road 19 stood the Military Police complex and one of the guard towers. On the right side of Road 19 were the main gate and the train station. The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy tracks that are today used by the Burlington Northern Railroad brought the internees to this station, named Vocation, beginning in August 1942. The U.S. Supreme Court in December of 1944, ruled that continued detention as illegal and the last internees left in November 1945.
The U.S. Army 331st Escort Guard Company, consisting of 124 soldiers and three officers, guarded the relocation center until the end of 1944. Armed Military Police (MP's) patrolled the outer perimeter of the project and manned eight elevated guard towers located at regular intervals along the perimeter. The towers were equipped with high beam searchlights.
A ninth guard tower stood on a ridge northwest of the relocation center. Internees were not permitted outside the relocation center without a written permit. The MPs' checked all incoming and outgoing persons at the main gate.
The first internees arrived by rail on August 11, 1942, and by October the population of Heart Mountain surpassed 10,000. The train ride from California took an average of 4 days and 3 nights. For most of the
M.P. Station, Guard Tower, Rail & Train Station Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2015
2. M.P. Station, Guard Tower, Rail & Train Station Marker
trip shades were drawn, and no one was allowed to look outside. Armed guards were in every car. The long journey was especially hard on the elderly and handicapped and those with small children. At the Vocation rail station the internees found themselves in a barren and desolate place. Many internees had to walk up the hill to find their new homes, while trucks carried their luggage. Some were heard to say "shikata ga nai" or it can't be helped.
 
Erected by Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation.
 
Location. 44° 40.2′ N, 108° 56.909′ W. Marker is near Ralston, Wyoming, in Park County. Marker can be reached from Road 19 near Lane 15, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1474 Road 19, Ralston WY 82440, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Agriculture and Root Cellars (a few steps from this marker); Swimming Hole: (within shouting distance of this marker); Administrative Area: (within shouting distance of this marker); Hospital Complex: (within shouting distance of this marker); Relocation Center Support Facilities (within shouting distance of this marker); Barracks Living Area: (within shouting distance of this marker); Heart Mountain, Wyoming - Fall 1943 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Heart Mountain High School: (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Ralston.
 
More about this marker. Heart Mountain Relocation Camp is located off of the Powell Highway (U.S. Highway 14A) about 6 miles south of Ralston. This marker is located on the Setsuko Saito Higuchi Memorial Walking Tour near the Heart Mountain Relocation Center Memorial Park.
 
Categories. Asian AmericansWar, World II
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 139 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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