URBAN POLICY & PLANNING
GRANADA RELOCATION CENTER
he Granada Relocation Center is named after Amache, beautiful daughter of Ochi-nee (meaning one-eyed), chief of the Cheyenne Indian tribe which roamed these wind-swept prairies and pitched their tepees amongst the cottonwoods along the Arkansas River.
It was in 1863 that John W. Prowers for whom the country is named, wooed and married Amache and became heir to almost two-third of the land along the Arkansas River from Lamar to Las Animas. Specializing in cattle raising, he became fabulous wealthy and at the time of his death was said to be worth a million and half dollars.
Amache’s daughter-in-law, Mrs. John W. Prowers Jr., a gracious, silver-haired lady, is still living in Lamar, Colorado.
The year 1942 witnessed an event unprecedented in the long epic of America.
Immediately after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent declaration of the war, irresistible machinery went into operation starting a chain of events which finally culminated in the complete removal of all Japanese, both citizens and aliens alike from the west coast.
The first inkling of things to come was a letter to the President on February 13, 1942, from the Pacific Coast congressional delegation recommending the removal from strategic areas all powers of Japanese ancestry.
On February 19, by Executive order, the president authorized the military commander to prescribe certain areas from which any or all persons may be excluded. Under this authorization Lieutenant General J.L. DeWitt, commander of the Western Defense Command, on March 2, issued a proclamation designating military areas in the state of Washington, Oregon, California and Arizona from which the Japanese, both aliens and citizens were to be evacuated.
On March 14, the Wartime Civil Control administration was established to supervise the vast evacuation program. It was through this office that the Japanese disposed of their properties, received their instructions and were ushered into the various assembly centers prior to their exodus further inland.
The executive order (9102) issued on March 18 created the War Relocation Authority, a non-military agency which is at present working on a long-range program of permanently relocating the evacuees. There are ten of these projects located in California, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and Arkansas.
The Granada Relocation Center was officially opened on August 27, 1942, with the arrival of the first contingent from the Merced Assembly Center. Subsequently on September 19, groups from the Santa Anita Assembly Center began to arrive, completing the project’s occupation on September 30. James G. Lindley is director of the Granada project.
With these few words of introduction, it is hoped that this pamphlet may, to some degree, enlighten the public on the many activities within the project and the operation of the War Relocation Authority, particularly, that of the Granada Relocation Center.
April 5, 1943
This is Amache Colorado. It is one of the most unusual cities in the State. It literally sprang up overnight on a desolate prairie where a short time ago only sagebrush, cactus and Russian thistles survived the winter snow and the hot summer sun. The only creatures which seemed to feel at home here were the jackrabbits, rattlesnakes and turtles.
The locale of this project is the original hunting ground of the Cheyenne Indians and is steeped in legends and historic lores of many famous characters of the early pioneer days. Some of the better known figures are Kit Carson, Buffalo Bill Cody, Zebulon Montgomery Pike, Black Kettle, chief of the Cheyenne Indian tribe and many others whose story-book adventures are well known to all.
Under this setting, we find the strange drama of the Japanese in a relocation center unfolding day by day. The teeming thousands who were literally uprooted from their native homes and transplanted to this novel environment work, play, attend schools and carry on activities of everyday living not totally different from those of an average American community. People become married, give birth, and die just as they have been normally doing.
The city itself is located within the southern boundary of the mile-square enclosure overlooking the rich bottom land of the Arkansas River. This location is bordered on the west
by a cemetery, dump pile, and sewer farm and on the east by a rolling prairie that stretches away into the state of Kansas. The northern limit is occupied by rows of warehouses, appointed personnel living quarters, administration building and by the Military Police compound. Isolated in the northwestern corner is the center’s up-to-date hospital, gleaming white against the dusty background with its three black smoke stacks reaching into the empty sky.
The one distinguishing landmark, visible ten miles away, is the project’s water tank whose orange and white checkered wall rises seventy-two feet above the highest point of the center ground.
The evacuee residential section is divided into thirty blocks each having its own community mess hall, laundry, toilet and shower room.
In addition, there is a recreation hall in each block and a block office to which residents go for registering complaints or receiving information.
Every one of these blocks is composed of twelve identical barrack 120 by 20 ft., each of which is divided into six apartments. Every family with seven persons or less is assigned to one of these rooms and allowed to make it as homelike as possible.
The people of this project make an interesting study. There are 7,620 inhabitants of whom two-thirds (5,497) are American citizens. The non-citizens (2,123) came to America in the early 1900’s as laborers and merchants. Of the total, almost half are from rural districts while the other half are from urban areas.
From the Santa Anita Assembly Center, representing the urban people of Los Angeles area, came merchants, doctors, lawyers, scientists, jewelers, optometrist, gardeners, landscape artists, hotel and restaurant operators, salesmen and clerks. Their activities in the business field embraced practically every phase of American life.
The preponderance of rural people came from the Merced Assembly Center, representing the vast farming sections of California’s central valleys and the San Francisco Bay area. They are the hardy pioneer stock who through years of hardship and toil developed California’s agriculture to the peak of its productivity and efficiency.
Furthermore the evacuees represent a heterogeneous cross section of people that may be found in any community of a comparable size. It has it’s quota of artisans and layman, architects, and craftsmen, musicians, and opera singers. There are rich men, poor men, the healthy and the sick. There are college professors and college students, truck drivers and common laborers. All these and more constitute the population of Amache.
The central executive and the legislative body of this center is the community council of one representative from each of the twenty-nine blocks. They are elected by popular vote, from their representative blocks by residents who are 18 years of age or over. The twenty-nine blocks are again divided into five districts and a councilman residing in each of this section is chosen as a member of the council’s executive committee.
The community council is charged with the prescription of ordinances, regulations, and laws governing community life within the center. A judicial commission of eight members appointed by the community council is composed of three members of the administrative personnel and five center residents who hear and try cases centering around violation of local regulations.
An aroitration commission composed of 15 members appointed by this community council from among the evacuee residents arbitrates civil disputes within the center.
W.R.A. - GRANADA PROJECT
Scale 1/4" = 1 MI.
The education department , comprising elementary, junior and senior high schools, occupies the whole of 8-H block. Pre-school classes and kindergartens are conducted in the various recreation halls scattered throughout the project and are tsaffed by fourteen evacuee teachers. The educational program is conducted in cooperation with the Colorado State Department of Education and offers curriculums not unlike those of any comparable institution outside the center. These include industrial arts, science, mathematics, English, history, and physical education. The school enrollment as of April 1, 1943 is as follows: nursery, 152; kindergarten, 95; elementary, 681; junior high, 433; senior high, 550.
On the regular staff are 50 Caucasian teachers, 4 principals, and a superintendent. Augmenting this staff are eleven accredited evacuee instructors, thirty-seven assistant teachers and twenty-eight specialists. The new high school building, upon completion, will accommodate 600 students. There will be twenty-four classrooms, combination gymnasium-auditorium, science laboratory, library and offices.
Special adult classes are held nightly to teach typing, shorthand, English, dressmaking, drafting, handicraft and fine arts.
The religion of Amache is predominantly Protestant with representatives from the following denominational groups: Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Holiness and Seventh-Day-Adventists. Their total membership approximates 2,000 with 15 ordained ministers who take turn conducting services each Sunday in both English and Japanese. The elder members meet at 10 A.M. in 7H and 10H recreation halls simultaneously with the young Christian groups who meet in Terry Hall; one of the public meeting places located in the school district.
The next largest group are those of the Buddhist faith. They number about 600 and conduct their services in a typical criental pattern. However, English services are also conducted for the nisei. The Sunday school is held each week at 9 A.M. at 7G and 12G recreation buildings. The elder group holds their worship service on Saturday afternoons at 2 P.M.
Another group are the Catholics who hold their mass on Saturday mornings, officiated by a Father who resides in a neighboring community and visits the center every week for this purpose.
The Granada Pioneer is a local bi-weekly newspaper delivered free to each unit of every barrack on Wednesday and Saturday evenings. It is mimeographed and has a total circulation of 3,000. About 400 complimentary copies are mailed to various other individuals, libraries and relocation centers.
This department is staffed by twenty-six evacuees who edit and publish news and comments in English with translations in Japanese. The printing is done by the mimeograph section of the newspaper office.
Other publications appearing are regular intervals are the Granada Christian Church News; Reveille, a Boy Scout paper; Amache Facts, It and Junior Pioneer, three school papers.
The local consumer’s cooperative known as the Amache Consumer’s Enterprises Inc., with a total capitalization of $25,000, is one of the largest organization of this kind in the State. It was incorporated in January 25, 1943, and is a member of the National Cooperative Inc., Chicago, Illinois. Its 2,387 members among the residents of this project own 4,975 shares and have under their management clothing store, variety store, shoe store, shoe-repair shop, cleaning and pressing agency, barber shop, beauty parlor, canteen, watch repairing, and optometry supplies. The gross sales from all its activities amounts to more than $40,000 per month.
The responsibility of supervising this organization is vested in the nine board of directors who are elected annually by the stockholders.
Different forms of recreation and creative pastimes are offered to the evacuees through the existence of clubs and organizations created by the people themselves. For the elder men, there are oh, shogi (Japanese chess), woodcarving, reading , and poem-writing clubs while for the women, there are flower-making, dressmaking, knitting, weaving, and crocheting circles.
The younger people, under the recreation department, hold talent shows, movies, dances, pin-pong tournaments, wrestling, song-fests, folk dances, and basketball games. The latter are played at the Granada High School gymnasium located two miles from the center where championship teams of the surrounding vicinity competed often with the local players.
Other informal groups are made up from those who have common interests in such subjects as radio, bridge, painting, writing, literature, model-building and music. The musically talented people have formed several dance bands which perform are various social functions.
Other well-known organizations which are taking part in national programs are the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, United Service Organization, Christian Young People, Catholic Young People, American Legion, American Red Cross, YMCA, YWCA and its affiliated clubs.
An important group which deserves special mention is the Amache Coordinating Council crea- ted in November, 1942. It is composed of representatives from all the important agencies, which include in addition to those mentioned above, the police, social welfare, newspaper, and documentation departments. Its principal purpose is to suggest plans for making a better community and better citizens.
Typical living quarters of the evacuees are rows of rectangular army-style barracks, 120’ x 20’, divided into six compartments of which two each are entered by a common door. These rooms vary in size from 16’ x 20’ to 24’ x 20’ and are assigned according to the size of the family which ranges from two to seven individuals. Aside from a semi -completed closet, coal stove, folding cots, mattresses and quilts, no other article was provided. All other necessary furniture was made by the evacuees themselves from scrap lumber found on the construction site. The interior walls and ceiling are lined with insulation board while the floors are merely a layer of bricks laid on loose dirt.
The functional activity of the block is centered around the mess hall where the evacuees go not only to eat their three meals a day but hold their talent shows, block meetings, movies and dances. This building is a standard structure 100’ x 40’ having a seating capacity of 200 to 250 people. The kitchen part of each mess hall is equipped with an up-to-date refrigerator, two galvanized sinks, water heater, steam sterilizer, and three coal ranges. The kitchen personnel is composed entirely of evacuees.
The meals are served cafeteria style, each individual lining up at the counter to receive his plate and then sitting down at a long wooden table. Coffee is served in the mornings, while tea, water or milk is provided at other meals. The menus are prepared by the WRA mess division and adhere strictly to the ration regulations governing any institution outside the center.
There are two administration buildings, the north and south, which face the main throughfare not far from the entrance gate. It is through these buildings that the various administrative functions of the project are carried out. In the north hall are found the offices of the project director, assistant project director, procurement, cost-accounting, finance, auditing, and senior administrator. The telephone switchboard is also located here. The south building houses the offices of chief of police, personnel, public works, education, project attorney, housing, and timekeeper.
The community service department and the reception hall which supervise the social welfare activities of the center are located in a barrack-size building across the street from the fire department. The Pioneer Building in the western portion of the administration area houses the newspaper office for which the building is named, the documentation section and the reports office.
The duties of the office service section which include such functions as filing records, sending and receiving teletype messages, sorting mail, and project mimeographing are carried on in a similar structure found in back of the main administration buildings.
The important work of handling the evacuees’ leave clearance papers and placing them in contact with suitable employers on the outside is conducted in the leave and employment offices located immediately north of the administration buildings.
Lying adjacent to the entrance gate is a frame building which houses the supply and transportation division and the project farm division. The living quarters of the appointed personnel are located between 4th and 5th streets southwest of the fire department.
Socialized medicine, novel to physicians and evacuees alike, is being practiced to maintain the health of Amache residents. The seventeen-winged hospital, built identical to an Army-past unit, has approximately 150 beds and is staffed by a chief medical officer, who is a member of the appointed personnel, and five evacuee doctors. A Caucasian registered nurse supervises the work of a evacuee registered nurse, three student nurses, and 21 nurse-aides. However, they constitute only a small fraction of the total of 216 hospital employees.
The hospital is comparable to any first class institution of similar size, possessing complete equipment to care for almost any kind of ailment.
Among the many divisions of the medical units are the out-patient clinic, pharmacy, optometry, laboratory, X-ray department, all located in the out-patient buildings, and the dental clinic. The out-patient clinic is the busiest section of the unit. Approximately 800 patients are treated here in one week alone. The surgery ward if a special unit for minor and major operation.
The dental clinic, staffed by seven evacuee dentists, treats 125 patients daily. However, due to the shortage of critical materials, service is limited to emergency cases.
GRANADA RELOCATION CENTER
SCALE 1" = 800'
The Amache Post Office occupies a structure 100 by 40 feet located between the administration building and the fire station. It is a regular branch of the Lamar Post Office managed by five Caucasian personnel who are regular civil service employees of the United States Post Office Department. They are assisted by an evacuee postmaster, four senior clerks and two filing clerks. Approximately 2,500 to 3,000 letters and 400 packages are routed through this office. Fifteen evacuee mail carriers make one delivery per day to the residents.
The fire department is located on the main street between the residential and administration areas. It houses two modern Ford trucks equipped with a triple combination pumper capable of throwing 500 gallons of water per minute. This equipment is manned twenty-four hours a day by three shifts of platoon comprising eight to ten men each. The responsibility for the training and operation of these units are vested in a Caucasian fire-protection officer, his assistant, and an evacuee fire chief. Living accommodations are provided for the firemen who are on night duty.
In addition to these members, are volunteer and auxiliary firemen from each block who receive periodic training in fire combat.
A fire is reported through emergency telephones located throughout the center.
The important duty of preserving law and order within the center lies in the hands of the Amache police department. This force, headed by an internal security officer who is a member of the WRA staff, consists of 60 evacuee men properly trained in police tactics. Their efficiency is attested by the fact that no serious crime has occurred within the center to date.
The Amache police department is modeled after a similar organization on the outside with the following officers: evacuee chief-of-police, 3 captains, 3 desk sergeant, 3 field sergeants, one release sergeant, one transportation sergeant, and 48 patrolmen.
The patrolmen are assigned beats in 8-hour shifts. The police headquarters and barrack are located in block 8-F, while the office of the chief security officer is located on the south administration building.
The function of the military police must not be confused with that of the local force since the former is restricted to the patrolling of areas outside the center and has no jurisdiciton within it.
A community the size of Amache requires a large number of people to perform various public tasks, without which the inhabitants would suffer many hardships and oftentimes be exposed to dangers. However, unlike an ordinary town of similar size, the Granada project does not have private enterprises and utilities and hence must resort to other means for providing the everyday needs of its residents.
This problem is being adequately met in this center by the existence of a work corp composed of evacuees who have offered their services to the community for a nominal pay of twelve, sixteen and nineteen dollars, advanced by the government.
There is a total of 3,476 evacuees employed in approximately 25 different departments, each supervised by Caucasians who are termed the appointed personnel. Sections under the departments are usually headed by evacuees who have had pervious experience in the particular work.
As a example, the numerous functions of the public-works division, which employs 56 people, may be cited. Its responsibilities include the planning and beautification of the center, maintenances of sewage, plumbing, power and sanitation, construction of roads and houses and the control of soil erosion.
WATER AND POWER
The water for the project is supplied by four wells approximately 800 feet deep. They are quipped with pumps driven by forty-horse-power electric motor which discharge 350 gallons per minute into a 200,000 gallon storage tank. Here it is chlorinated to safeguard against pollution. From the tank two 750 gallon per minute centrifugal pumps driven by forty -horse-power motors force the water into an elevated 25,000 gallon tank seventy -two feet high built on the southern boundary of the project. Gasoline-driven standby pumps are installed at well No. 3 and the storage tank to take care of any emergency arising out of power failure.
The large amount of water utilized by the evacuees for normal living purposes can be realized when it is noted that the 25,000- gallon tank cannot be kept full for more than thirty minutes if the supply is shut off from the main storage tank.
Electric power is supplied by the Lamar Branch of the Rural Electrification Administration. Approximately 234m000 kilowatt hours are consumed per month in the center.
Fourteen standard warehouse 40 by 100 feet occupy the northwest corner on the project site.
They are utilized for storing mess-division supplies, furniture, motor-pool equipment, community-enterprise stocks, public-service supplies, and many other miscellaneous items.
In this area also are located two, 20 x 100 feet walk-in refrigeration plants, a meat house and a carpenter shop.
The main industry of the Granada Relocation Center is agriculture. Its prime objective is to produce enough vegetables and meat so that it will, to a great extent, become self sustaining.
The actual land under the farm section embraces 4,095 acres known as the X Y Ranch and 5,688 acres known as the Koen Ranch formerly operated by the American Crystal Sugar Company. Of this acreage, almost 6,000 is under irrigation. The water is supplied by the Lamar Canal and the Manvel Ditch of which 40% and 67% respectively of the capital stock is held by the WRA. The water rights of the X Y Ditch is entirely owned by the WRA.
Equipment used in farming includes a number of large track-type tractors and twenty Fords. There is also a completely equipped blacksmith-shop for general repair, electric and gas welding, forge work, drilling and cutting.
The present plan calls for 500 acres of vegetables some of which are: onions, beans, corn, potatoes, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, cantaloupe, and watermelons. Other seedings include 800 acre of alfalfa, with several hundred acres in corn, grain, and sorgum.
Another important farm program is livestock production. At present there are 1,000 chickens and 525 hogs which will be increased to 20,000 and 1,000 respectively. The hogs are fattened on garbage accumulated within the center. Further plans in this department call for a possible start in beef production.
The long-range program of rehabilitation the evacuees into the main stream of normal American life is taking shape and qualified persons, both citizens and aliens, are being encouraged to resettle in those areas not under military restriction. However, preparatory to leaving the center they must undergo a thorough investigation by the FBI and other intelligence agencies into their educational, political, and environmental background. Only upon the government’s satisfaction that the evacuees are loyal, are they granted indefinite-leave clearance so that they may accept jobs offered through WRA employment offices. Up to April 1, 1943, nearly 800 persons have left the center on temporary leaves while 110 became established in more or less permanent occupations on the outside.
The tempo of relocation has been accelerated with the Army’s acceptance of nisei onto the armed forces of the United States. One hundred and twenty-four American -Japanese have volunteered for the new combat unit while 19 volunteered at and earlier date for specialized service.
Another phase of the relocation program is the placing of approximately 90 students in colleges and universities throughout the middle west and the eastern states, and thus enabled them to continue their education through their own effort. This was made possible through the cooperation of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council which was organized for this purpose.
All of these developments are steps forward toward a day when all loyal individual are again accepted into the American society and permitted to share the common lot of a common man. To this end, the War Relocation Authority has dedicated its wholehearted effort.
A FEW FACTS AT A GLANCE
Granada Relocation Center, James G. Lindley, project director.
Location, southeastern Colorado, Prowers County.
Population, 7,620, tenth largest in the State.
Elevation, 3,592 feet.
X Y Ranch…………………………………4,095
Granada Relocation Project……………..10,423
Climate, Generally dry
Average rainfall………………………...15.75 inches
Average snowfall………………………23.40 inches
Average low temperature……………...31.1 degree F.
Average high temperature……………..77.8 degree F.
Average for the whole year……………54.4 degree F.
Principal Industry, agriculture.
Average length of growing season, 160 days.
Number of evacuees working, 3,207
Number of administrative personnel, 156
Nearest towns, Granada 11/2 miles, Holly 10 miles
Hospital, 150-bed capacity.
Public Library, 4,545 books.
Internal security, 50 evacuee police.
High school, 24 rooms, 600 students
Water Supply, four wells, total pumping capacity 1,400 gal. per. min. Two storage tanks, 200,000 and 25,000 gallons.
Two large refrigeration plants.
Dry Goods Store
Shoe Repair shop
Watch Repair Shop
Newspaper, Granada Pioneer, circulation 3,000, published bi-weekly.
URBAN POLICY & PLANNING