Near Ralston in Park County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
Heart Mountain Relocation Center Memorial
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, many parts of the West Coast were declared military defense zones. The government ordered the removal of all persons of Japanese ancestry and the War Relocation Authority was established in March 1942 to house them in inland camps. The Heart Mountain Relocation center was one of ten temporary camps constructed to confine over 110,000 men, women and children forced to leave their homes in California, Oregon, Washington and part of Arizona. It was the only camp located in Wyoming. Construction on the center began in June 1942 and the first internees arrived in August of that year. At the peak of its population, the Heart Mountain Center, which covered over 740 acres, contained nearly 11,000 people housed in 450 barracks. Although surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards, the internees kept the camp functioning as a small city with its own public works, grade schools, a high school, hospital and newspaper. At the time it was the third largest city in Wyoming.
The camp was closed in November 1945, the buildings removed and the land, made arable by irrigation ditches completed by the internees, was opened up for homesteading.
A portion of the Heart Mountain Center was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December19.
This monument was erected by the internees at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in August 1944 to honor those from the camp who served in the United States armed forces in World War II. The photographs to the right and below show the Honor roll as it was in 1944. Although the elements have erased the names of those listed, the structure still remains as it was originally.
In 1978 the Honor Roll was preserved as a memorial not only to those Japanese-Americans who served in the military, but also to recognize the sacrifices of those who were interned here throughout the war.
In 1985 a plaque was erected memorializing those people from Heart Mountain who gave their lives in World War II.
Erected by Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation.
Location. 44° 40.227′ N, 108° 56.985′ 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. Touch 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. Heart Mountain World War II Memorial Norman Y. Mineta (here, next to this marker); Daniel K. Inouye (a few steps from this marker); Heart Mountain Relocation Center Honor Roll and Flag Pole (a few steps from this marker); Heart Mountain, Wyoming - Fall 1943 (within shouting distance of this marker); Barracks Living Area: (within shouting distance of this marker); Relocation Center Support Facilities (within shouting distance of this marker); Heart Mountain High School: (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map 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 in Heart Mountain Relocation Center Memorial Park.
Also see . . .
1. A Brief History of Heart Mountain Relocation Center - WyoHistory. During World War II, people of Japanese descent from Oregon, Washington and California were incarcerated at the Heart Mountain (Submitted on December 2, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.)
2. Wyoming: Heart Mountain's chill winds of Japanese American internment - LA Times. From the outside, the Heart Mountain Interpretive Learning Center, which opened in August 2011, is ugly and depressing, and that's how it's supposed to be. The black, barracks-style buildings reflect the design of living quarters hastily assembled for those uprooted from their homes, businesses, communities and lives.
The buildings were so quickly constructed from green timber that within weeks, the wood began to shrink, leaving huge cracks through which the winter winds blew. Black tar paper that wrapped the buildings' exteriors did little to help against winter's subzero temperatures — 13 below on Jan. 17, 1943, one exhibit said. (Submitted on December 2, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.)
Categories. • Asian Americans • War, World II •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 2, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 223 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on December 2, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.