Minidoka National Historic Site
The Minidoka War Relocation Center, also referred to as Hunt Camp, was authorized in August 1942 and operated by the War Relocation Authority until October 1945. The Minidoka Center included a reserve of over 33,000 acres of land in Jerome County. The actual camp site, consisting of more than 600 buildings, was located on 950 acres. The Minidoka Relocation Center had a peak population of approximately 9,397 Japanese Americans from Washington State, Oregon, California and Alaska. Approximately 1000 of the incarcerees served in the U.S. Army, mostly in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team which won distinction in the European Theater as the most highly decorated combat regiment in the entire war. Incarcerees also played a critical role in helping Idaho's agricultural industries support the war effort by doubling their wartime production.
Minidoka National Historic Site was officially designated the 385th unit of the National Park Service on September 26, 2001. The purpose of Minidoka National Historic Site, to be managed by the National Park Service, is to:
- Protect the historic structures, features and objects on the site.
- Provide opportunities for public education and interpretation of the WWII Japanese American forced removal and incarceration.
The Minidoka National Historic Site encompasses the former entrance area, remnants of a Japanese-style rock garden, portions of the motor pool parking area, features and remnants of the Center's Administrative area, staff housing area, warehouse area, swimming hole, block 22 including a historic barracks and mess hall, fire station no. 1, the Herrmann House, a root cellar and beach area along the North Side Canal.
The establishment of Minidoka National Historic Site is a direct result of the efforts of many individuals and organizations, both local and national. The Japanese American Citizens League has been a vocal and active advocate for the past three decades of preserving confinement sites and telling the story to the American public. The Jerome County Historical Society and the Idaho Farm and Ranch Museum have, over the years, done much to protect and commemorate the Minidoka site.
Go on to the WWII Incarceration page