Visiting Minidoka and Heart Mountain

Going to Minidoka and Heart Mountain, there are so many things to take in.  Given the racially charged rhetoric and policies of our current Presidential administration, it is a disquieting time to examine the vestiges of another racially charged Presidential policy.  It reminds me that there are few Presidential heroes when it comes to American race relations.

Minidoka NPS

Minidoka Camp [National Park Service]

Heart Mountain NPS

Heart Mountain Camp [National Park Service]

In spite of this ever-present context, there are some particular things on which I also want to focus.  In some cases, I’ll be verifying information I already have.  In others, I’ll be resolving differences in information I have, or I’ll be seeking out something I’ve so far been unable to find.

I know this will probably be boring, but I wanted to let you in on the details I’ll be seeking…


   The Site

  • How did the camps come to be located where they were?
  • What was the process for building them?
  • How large was the site?
    • Housing area
    • Agricultural area

   The Agriculture

  • Was the land used for agriculture before the Camp?
  • How much land was converted to agriculture by the Japanese Americans?
  • What was the eventual agricultural production?

   The People

  • How many people were farmers when they came to the Camp?
  • What were their other professions/businesses/work?
  • What were their experiences at the Camp?
  • What work did they perform at the Camp?
  • How much did they earn working at the Camp?


   Buildings and Infrastructure

  • How much is there to see?
  • Are there former Camp buildings in the surrounding area?


  • How much farming is taking place on former Camp lands?
  • How much of that land was awarded via the Homestead Act?
  • Were any former internees eligible? (generally, they were not)
  • How much land was sold to corporations at discounted prices?

Of course, there are so many other things that will make themselves known… things I cannot really anticipate. That is one of the best parts of the journey… the surprises.

That’s it for now.  Thanks for joining me on the journey.  I’ll be back with a string of posts when I return.  In the meantime,

Grace and peace to you…


2 Comments on “Visiting Minidoka and Heart Mountain

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