The Museum at McGehee: a little jewel box.

McGehee, Arkansas is the nearest city to the Jerome and Rohwer WRA Camps, roughly halfway between them.  In 1942, McGehee had a population of about 3,600.  The two Camps had a combined  population of 16,972.  McGehee is still a small city.

Museum 01

In the middle of town, is a little jewel box… a small museum dedicated to the Jerome and Rohwer Camps.  Filled with gems, the museum has a collection of photos, quotations from Camp prisoners, and artifacts from the sites.  Two curators staff the museum. Remaining in close contact with Japanese Americans who were in the Camps, the curators obviously work to sustain a collection that carefully reflects what took place at the two camps.

Museum 02

“The next order was that we were going to be moved to Arkansas. We had to pack up our belongings again and crate them. This was another sad movement of my life. We came on the first crew. We came by the southern route. It took us three days and four (nights). We were in Rohwer, Arkansas at five in the morning.”

Hiroshi Ito, Rohwer

This exhibit includes photos of some of the people taken to Rohwer.

Museum 03

Museum 04

Museum 05

Museum 06

Museum 07

They have several artifacts on display.

Museum 08

A small box which held some of the possessions the Utsumi family (family no. 26514), who were taken from Stockton, CA to Rohwer.

Museum 09

Recently recovered in a field on the Rohwer site.

Museum 10

A small figurine recently recovered at the Rohwer site.

The care and concern of the museum at McGehee is profoundly touching. In the middle of a remote, rural part of America, men and women work daily to help others remember.  Respectfully, they work to keep the memories alive.

Next stop on the journey… the Rohwer WRA Camp.

Thanks, for joining me!

2 Comments on “The Museum at McGehee: a little jewel box.

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