We drive by this area occasionally, usually on our way to Idaho. But we've never taken the chance to stop until this last Saturday when we didn't have too many big plans and Tony suggested that we go check it out.
We arrived in mid-afternoon to Manzanar. It's about 70 miles or so from where we live and 230 miles from Los Angeles. There were not many people out in this area when we arrived. We took our Hyundai Accent which for the most part was a good car for the roads but there were a couple places that were more sketchy for low clearance cars and one road that we decided not to go down because it recommended having a high clearance vehicle.
This spot is just 1 of 10 in the US. There are 2 in California actually as well as 2 in Arkansas, 2 in Arizona and 1 in Idaho, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming.
I took a picture of this map to reference but they also had paper maps which is what we ended up using more.
11, 000 men, women and children were held here. A majority were born US citizens.
I thought visiting here would be really depressing and while it was sad it was also very interesting to read about the people here and how they lived their lives from 1942-1945.
Manzanar is a Spanish word that means "apple orchards".
Signs of what was where. The buildings no longer exist for the most part. The buildings that are here are replicas.
Grave of baby Jerry Ogata. Apparently the grave is empty.
Every year there is a pilgramage made by people back to this location. I believe it is the last weekend of April according to one of the signs that I read.
"During the time Manzanar was in operation, 188 weddings were held, 541 children were born in the camp, and between 135 and 146 individuals died."
The sky was smokey from the Castle Fire and got worse as the day went on.
Administration and hospital area which was quite large
Feel free to click on any photos to see them larger.This area was a garden. I'm sure it was a lot more green back in the day.
John Shepherd Ranch area
Basketball court area.
Stuck my phone up to the screen of the mess hall and was able to capture this photo. I really wish some of the buildings had been open to let us walk through.
Snapped a photo of the smoke from the Castle Fire on the other side of the mountains.
A page from the menu
My picture didn't really turn out well but there is a row of toilets next to each other. No dividers. I can't imagine not having any privacy in the bathroom. Oye! The sink was a trough style where everyone washed their hands at once. I didn't get to peek at the showers but I imagine there was no privacy there either. I would not do well with that!
Looking out where the living spaces were
They look like this photo above.
To learn more about Manzanar or visit, check out these links