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Manzanar Auto Tour Guide

1)              Manzanar War Relocation Center Entrance - The Sentry Post and the Internal Security Police Post were constructed in 1942 by stonemason (and internee) Ryozo Kado.

2)              Manzanar Police Station - Site of the "Manzanar Riot," December 6, 1942.  Two internees were killed and ten were wounded by gunfire from U. S. Army Military Police.

3)              "The Manzanar Free Press" was published by and for internees from 1942 - 1945.  It occupied Building I at the southeast comer of this block.

4)              Administration Section - Manzanar War Relocation Center Staff apartments, Project Director's residence, Post Office, and Administration Offices were located here.

5)              Bachelor's Block - Approximately 100 male Japanese American volunteers came in early March, 1942 to help build the assembly center.  They were housed here, in Block 2, which came to be known as the "Bachelor's Block."

6)              Manzanar High School was located here, in Block 7.  Classes began in October of 1942.  Two classes graduated from Manzanar High School: 1943 and 1944.

7)              Auditorium - Constructed by internees in 1944, this structure housed a gymnasium and a stage for plays, graduation ceremonies and other social functions.  It is the future site of the park Visitor Center.

8)              Manzanar Fire Department - The concrete floor is visible in the center of this block (Block 13 ) near "X' Street.  One of the original fire engines, a 1942 Ford, will be on display.

9)              South Firebreak - West of the Auditorium is one of two east-west oriented firebreaks.  This section of the South Firebreak was used as a recreation area; it contained tennis, volleyball and basketball courts.

10)            Replica Barrack - At least- one barrack will be reconstructed here in Block 14 to provide an example of what a typical barrack looked like in 1942.  All  the building sites in this block have been marked to show the original layout.

11)           Toyo Miyatake, a professional photographer from Los Angeles, lived here in Block 20.  "The best source of photographs for documentation of Manzanar is the Toyo Miyatake Collection." (Unrau, NPS, 535:1996)

12)            North Firebreak - This was the North Firebreak of Manzanar Relocation Center.  The Kemp/Lenbeck Homestead (ca 1910), part of the pre-WWII ranching and farming era, was located near the locust trees.

13)            Baseball Field - Between Block 19 and Block 25 were two of the larger baseball fields at the Manzanar War Relocation Center, built in the North Firebreak.

14)            Catholic Church - was located here in the Block 25 Recreation Building.

15)            Manzanar Town Site - 350 yards east of the tour road was the "center" of the town of Manzanar (ca.  1910 - 1925), a ranching/farming community with around 25 home sites.

16)            John Shepherd Ranch Site - In the late 1800s, John Shepherd established a ranch here.  In 1910, George Chaffey purchased the Shepherd holdings and founded the town of Manzanar.

17)            Orchards - Remnants of pear trees planted by George Chaffey's Owens Valley Improvement Company (ca.  1910) can be seen south of the Tour road.

18)            Block 34 Garden - Immediately south of the Tour road at 'H' Street is the mess hall garden of Block 34.  This garden was one of the most sophisticated of the relocation center gardens and was unique in its use of metamorphic stone.

19)            R.A. Wilder Farm Site - Approximately 50 feet west of 'H' Street is the location of the Wilder farm (ca.  1910 - 1922), another homestead from the pre-VAVII era.

20)            Hospital Complex - Stone and concrete steps, an elaborate pond, and the floor slabs of the hospital laundry, heating room, and morgue are still in evidence west of the Tour road.

21)           Children's Village - 125 yards east of the Tour road are the remains of the Children's Village, an orphanage where 101 children of Japanese ancestry were housed.

22)            Cemetery - More than 135 people died at Manzanar during its operation as a war relocation center, but only 28 were buried here; the rest were buried in hometown cemeteries.  Internees built the monument.  The inscription on the front translates (top to bottom) to "monument to console the souls of the dead." The inscription on the back side translates: (right hand column) "August 1943," and (left hand column) "erected by the Manzanar Japanese."

23)            Buddhist Temple - This was the largest of three Buddhist temples: the other two were located in the Recreation Buildings of Block 13 and Block 27.

24)            Block 12 Garden - Evacuees constructed ponds and planted trees to improve the bleak surroundings.  Some of these ponds will be restored and (hopefully) adopted in the future.

25)            Block 9 and Block 10 - People of Japanese ancestry from Terminal Island (near San Pedro) were housed here.  They built an elaborate garden in Block 9.

26)            Block 3 - Approximately 230 people of Japanese ancestry from Bainbridge Island (near Seattle, WA) were sent via train to the Manzanar War Relocation Center.

27)            Camouflage Net Factory -internees worked at this war-related project June to December 1942.  It was located southwest of the intersection of "C" Street and Manzanar Street.


The information on this page is from "Manzanar National Historic Site: Auto Tour Guide" a National Park Service Publication.


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