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Heart Mountain Relocation Memorial

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#1 OlDoinyo

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 02:55

From 1942 through late 1945, in one of the more shameful episodes of American history, thousands of Americans of Japanese descent were forcibly rounded up and evicted from their homes on the west coast and incarcerated in euphemistically-named "relocation centers" elsewhere in the country. In most cases, they lost everything they had, being forced to abandon homes and successful businesses and, allowed to take only a single suitcase apiece with them, were shipped off to these locations which were, in fact, little more than concentration camps. It must be emphasized that these were US citizens, most of them born in the United States, and many of them had little understanding of why they were being treated in this manner.

One of these places was the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, situated in the steppes of the Bighorn Basin in Park County, Wyoming. A large number of hastily-erected wooden barracks buildings housed over 10,000 inmates at times, including women, elderly, and children, making it the third-largest settlement in Wyoming at the time. The buildings' construction was cheap as was the case with many wartime structures and lacked insulation, heating, or air conditioning as well as being very drafty and leaky. Conditions were spartan in the camp, with little in the way of comfort or privacy; and as many of those imprisoned were from coastal southern California, they did not at first own clothing appropriate for a Wyoming winter, nor were they prepared for the summer dust storms.

Most of the camp is long gone now, but a few buildings have been preserved, thanks to the efforts of former inmates and other advocates of historic preservation; in addition there is a walking trail and a museum and visitor center which tells the story of the camp and those who were confined there. The museum is well worth a visit, and the few standing buildings afford some opportunities for the photographer.

The old hospital building with its power-plant smokestack is still standing, and the eponymous Heart Mountain appears in the distance in the second photo (Sony A900; Asahi 20@f/16, U360/S8612 filter; BGR intent)

Attached Image: Old Hospital Building j small ex DSC00121.jpg

Attached Image: Old Hospital and Heart Mountain j small ex DSC00122.jpg

Two barracks buildings are also preserved quasi-intact, and the end of one appears in this view (Steinheil 50, Baader U2 filter:)

Attached Image: Barracks and Heart Mountain j small ex DSC00129.jpg

Another small building was evidently used for administration purposes (Steinheil, Baader:)
Attached Image: Administration Building j small ex DSC00140.jpg

(I suspect the pale pink is leaded paint.)

Some R72 infrared and IRG views give a slightly different take on this subject matter (Steinheil 50; Hoya R72 with BGR intent; Tifffen 12 with Pixelbender workup:)
Attached Image: Barracks and Heart Mountain j small ex DSC00130.jpg

Attached Image: Administration Building j small ex DSC00139.jpg

Attached Image: Administration Building j small ex DSC00143.jpg

For further historical context, one may consult the Wikipedia article.

#2 Cadmium

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 21:35

Clark, Very nice! I especially like the IR and IRG photos. :smile: