“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)

Relocation Center Support Facilities

Relocation Center Support Facilities Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2015
1. Relocation Center Support Facilities Marker
Captions: (left) Press room of the Cody Enterprise, Bill Hosokawa, Editor of the Sentinel, Heart Mountain Relocation Center newspaper, knocks out correction slugs on the linotype machine.; (top right) Police Department, many of whom also served on the Fire Department.; (middle right) Barracks Fire; (bottom right) Fire station at Heart Mountain.
Inscription. As you look through the site glass, you see the hill where the water reservoir stood. Across Highway 14A was the water treatment plant and adjacent to the military police complex was the sewage treatment plant. Directly across the intersection in front of you stood the fire station, Block 21 held the police station, and Block 28 the courthouse. The Heart Mountain Sentinel newspaper office was located in the administration area. At the foot of the hill in front of you was the relocation center cemetery. This station is an excellent vantage point for viewing the entire living area.
Water for domestic use was pumped from the Shoshone River below the camp into a treatment area south of Highway 14A. The water was treated, filtered and then pumped by the "high level pumping plant" into the concrete reservoir on top of the hill then flowed by gravity into the camp. The sewage disposal plant included sludge beds, a pump house, a chlorination house, and a large buried "Imhoff" tank.
The Military Police were responsible for security of the center. However, selected internees served as internal camp police. These "policemen" had the power to take people who were fighting or drunk or possessed weapons to the Military Police barracks.
The courthouse was located in Block 28. The Judicial Commission, a body of between
Relocation Center Support Facilities Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2015
2. Relocation Center Support Facilities Marker
three and seven internees, appointed by the internee-elected Chartered Council, could levy fines up to $300 for disorderly conduct or violation of internal regulation.
Fire was a great hazard because of the flimsy nature of the barracks and the use of coal stoves. The Fire Department organized September 1, 1942, sometimes was called out to fight fires in temperatures as low as thirty degrees below zero.
The water system had been built without expansion joints and occasionally pipes froze solid and cracked. On cold nights, residents kept stoves burning and volunteers took turns walking a fire watch.
Internee Bill Hosokawa was the founding editor of the weekly center newspaper, The Heart Mountain Sentinel, which was edited in the camp and printed in Cody. The Sentinel carried a mimeographed Japanese language supplement. Approximately 6000 copies of the Sentinel were published each week. Many copies were sent to friends and relatives outside the camp. The Sentinel sold at first for 3 cents, but the price was lowered to 2 cents when advertisers, such as mail order stores, patronized the paper. The internees published the paper with no interference from the Administration.
Between 1942-1945, 185 persons died at Heart Mountain. Some bodies were sent to Great Falls, Montana for cremation at a cost of $100; others were buried
Heart Mountain Firefighters image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer
3. Heart Mountain Firefighters
in the camp cemetery. All but five bodies were exhumed and removed to the West Coast after the war. The five unclaimed bodies were moved to the Powell Cemetery.
Erected by Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation.
Location. 44° 40.213′ N, 108° 56.958′ 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. Barracks Living Area: (here, next to 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); Daniel K. Inouye (within shouting distance of this marker); Heart Mountain High School: (within shouting distance of this marker); Administrative Area: (within shouting distance of this marker); Norman Y. Mineta (within shouting distance of this marker); Heart Mountain World War II Memorial (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 on the Setsuko Saito Higuchi Memorial Walking Tour near Heart Mountain Relocation Center Memorial Park.
Categories. Asian AmericansWar, World II
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 3, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 242 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 3, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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