Amache Japanese Intern

The Amache Japanese Internment Camp (also known as the Granada Relocation Center) was built and operated during WWII to house Japanese-Americans, who were relocated from the west coast (mainly California) far inland to southeastern Colorado. Camp Amache was in operation from August 1942 until October 1945. In October 1942, it reached its peak capacity of more than 7500 evacuees, two-thirds of whom were American citizens. Today Amache is a ghost town.

Camp Amache is located on chalky uplands next to the Arkansas River valley close to the city of Granada. This is semi-arid High Plains country, which must have looked bleak to those who were forced to move here from the west coast. Most of the buildings were wood-frame on concrete foundations. The living quarters were arranged in blocks that contained 12 barracks, constructed with minimal walls and roofs, heated with coal-burning stoves, and floored with bricks set in dirt.

The camp was a small city with a hospital, post office, elementary and high schools, and stores. But, the camp was surrounded with a fence, and guard towers were equiped with machine guns.

For several years we have driven by Camp Amache on US Highway 50 and thought many times about conducting kite aerial photography. Finally we had good weather conditions for Memorial Day weekend 2007. We flew our large rokkaku and took pictures with the Cannon S70 rig.

Aber Amache

Northward overview of Camp Amache. The high school (HS) and athletic field (AF) can be seen in the foreground, and crop fields occupy the Arkansas River valley in the far background. The co-op stores were located directly north (behind) the athletic field. The high school was constructed for a cost of $301,000, a price which created national controversy. May 2007.

Aber Amache close up

Detail showing foundations remaining in blocks 11G (left) and 11E (right). May 2007.