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 Post subject: Rohwer Arkansas Japanese Relocation Facility
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29th, 2011 pm31 6:56 pm 
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Location: Ralston, Oklahoma
I had the day off and decided to see if I could find this place. A little history...

The Rohwer War Relocation Center was a World War II Japanese American internment camp located in rural southeastern Arkansas, in Desha (pronounced DE-SHA) County. It was in operation from September 18, 1942 until November 30, 1944, and held as many as 8,475 Japanese Americans forcibly evacuated from California. The Rohwer War Relocation Center Cemetery is located here, and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1992.

Unfortunately, it appears other than stick up a marker sayings this a historic landmark, nothing has been done to the place.

Here is a link showing photos from 1990. The deteriation since then is significant.

http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NHLS/ ... 001882.pdf

I didn't have much in the way of expectations, as these would have been temporary wooden structures and would likely not have survived. This in fact turned out to be the case with the exception of the old smoke stack from the camp hospital and the old cemetery. Some further research yielded this link, which shows photographs on file taken in 1990, some 20 years ago. What little existed beyond the smokestack then is now gone, and the cemetery has been vandelized and has continued to deteriorate.

In its summary on the Rohwer Relocation Center Cemetery, the National Park Service indicates that the cemetery's condition is threatened due to deterioration of the grave markers and monuments, but that ownership of the site is unclear.

A few historical photos.


Attachments:
File comment: Rohwer Relocation camp, 1942
RohwerStudentsChangingClasses.jpg
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File comment: Grade school students.
RohwerGradeSchoolStudents.jpg
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File comment: Boys playing marbles.
RohwerRelocationCampt2.jpg
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File comment: They cut and milled lumber and built much of their own camp.
RohwerCamp1942.jpg
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File comment: Rohwer Relocaton Camp 1943. They grew 85 percent of their own vegetables.
RohwerRelocationCamp.jpg
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File comment: Rohwer Relocaton Camp 1943
RohwerRelocationCamp1943.jpg
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"Ruins, the fate of all cities."


Last edited by dwtaylor999 on Sat Jan 29th, 2011 pm31 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Rohwer Arkansas Japanese Relocation Facility
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29th, 2011 pm31 7:32 pm 
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Location: Ralston, Oklahoma
Rohwer Relocation Camp was constructed in the late summer and early fall of 1942 as a result of Executive Order 9066 (February 19, 1942). Under this order, over 110,000 Japanese Americans and their immigrant parents were forcibly removed from the three Pacific Coast States—California, Oregon, and Washington. In all, ten camps were established in desolate sites, all chosen for their distance from the Pacific Coast. Over 10,000 evacuees passed through Rohwer during its existence, and over two thirds of these were American citizens.

The camp cemetery survives as the only site still identified as having been part of the internment center. It was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1992It has a monument to Japanese American war dead from the camp, and also a monument to those who died at the camp. The camp site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.


Attachments:
File comment: The cemetery is now about 1/2 mile from the old hospital location, but was much closed when the camp was in existance. It is located about 1/4 mile off Arkansas state hwy 1 down a gravel road in the middle of a cotton field.
Rohwer 136.jpg
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File comment: The smoke stack from the incinerator at the old hospital. There is an old gymnasium which was used by the local school, now closed, which was supposedly constructed by the internees.
Rohwer 025.jpg
Rohwer 025.jpg [ 651.76 KiB | Viewed 17495 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Rohwer Arkansas Japanese Relocation Facility
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29th, 2011 pm31 7:37 pm 
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Location: Ralston, Oklahoma
A tank-shaped memorial, made of reinforced concrete, guards the cemetery, commemorating Japanese Americans who fought for the United States at Anzio and elsewhere in Italy and France during World War II. Thirty-one who came from Rohwer died in action, and their names are inscribed on the memorial, as well as a later memorial raised nearby.


Attachments:
File comment: View of the access road to state highway 1 and the what remains of the town of Rohwer.
Rohwer 127.jpg
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File comment: National historic landmark plaque. Looks like it needs a little TLC itself.
Rohwer 029.jpg
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File comment: The monument built to the people who died at the camp.
Rohwer 042.jpg
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File comment: The war memorial commemerating the japanese americans who died in WWII. This monument was built from reinforced concrete by the internees.
Rohwer 031.jpg
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File comment: View of the cemetery and memorials from the west side
Rohwer 088.jpg
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File comment: Original marker denotes Rohwer Center Cemetery, 1942
Rohwer 094.jpg
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File comment: The cemetery is surrounded by these concrete posts.
Rohwer 089.jpg
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File comment: Graves of those who died at the camp.
Rohwer 057.jpg
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File comment: This grave is some distance from the cemetery proper for some reason.
Rohwer 131.jpg
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File comment: The smoke stack in the distance
Rohwer 128.jpg
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File comment: Vandals have damaged parts of the cemetery. This damage looks fairly recent.
Rohwer 118.jpg
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File comment: More vandal damage.
Rohwer 108.jpg
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File comment: A tattered Old Glory stands watch over the cemetery.
Rohwer 064.jpg
Rohwer 064.jpg [ 499.63 KiB | Viewed 17495 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Rohwer Arkansas Japanese Relocation Facility
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29th, 2011 pm31 8:01 pm 
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Location: Ralston, Oklahoma
The remaining pictures are close ups of the incriptions, headstones, other other items of interest.


Attachments:
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Rohwer 115.jpg
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Rohwer 112.jpg
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Rohwer 114.jpg
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Rohwer 032.jpg
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Last edited by dwtaylor999 on Sat Jan 29th, 2011 pm31 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Rohwer Arkansas Japanese Relocation Facility
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29th, 2011 pm31 8:19 pm 
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...and some more. Some of these monuments where added later, and where not built by the original internees.


Attachments:
Rohwer 101.jpg
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Rohwer 048.jpg
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Rohwer 044.jpg
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Rohwer 045.jpg
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Rohwer 040.jpg
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Rohwer 046.jpg
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Rohwer 077.jpg
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Rohwer 085.jpg
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Rohwer 068.jpg
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Rohwer 054.jpg
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Rohwer 124.jpg
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Rohwer 109.jpg
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Last edited by dwtaylor999 on Sun Jan 30th, 2011 am31 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Rohwer Arkansas Japanese Relocation Facility
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29th, 2011 pm31 8:37 pm 
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The "town" of Rohwer has faired no better than the internment facility. There is nothing left but a small cluster of buildings to mark its existance.


Attachments:
Rohwer 142.jpg
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Rohwer 141.jpg
Rohwer 141.jpg [ 824.11 KiB | Viewed 17482 times ]
Rohwer 140.jpg
Rohwer 140.jpg [ 717.52 KiB | Viewed 17482 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Rohwer Arkansas Japanese Relocation Facility
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29th, 2011 pm31 8:54 pm 
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In closing, (pulls out soap box) it really pisses me off that this place is crumbling to dust in the middle of a cotton field in Arkansas, because someone can't figure out who is responsible for, or willing to take responsibility for, maintaining a national landmark.

The Japanese American veterans memorialized here where part of the 442nd regimental combat team, now the 442nd infantry. The 442nd was a self-sufficient fighting force, and fought with uncommon distinction in Italy, southern France, and Germany. The unit became the most highly decorated regiment in the history of the United States armed forces, including 21 Medal of Honor recipients.

One last note. This little boy spent part of his childhood in this camp. His name was George Takie. You may know him as Mr. Sulu.


Attachments:
TakeiRohwer_f.jpg
TakeiRohwer_f.jpg [ 55.71 KiB | Viewed 17480 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Rohwer Arkansas Japanese Relocation Facility
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30th, 2011 am31 2:55 am 
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Old cemeteries are the best in my book. The craftsmanship and artisans that made those old headstones were extraordinary. Not like the stuff you see in cemeteries today.

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 Post subject: Re: Rohwer Arkansas Japanese Relocation Facility
PostPosted: Wed Feb 2nd, 2011 pm28 3:32 pm 
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nice. Well done!

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 Post subject: Re: Rohwer Arkansas Japanese Relocation Facility
PostPosted: Fri Feb 4th, 2011 am28 4:32 am 
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Totally agree, GREAT stuff. I've really enjoyed your forum posts on here!


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 Post subject: Re: Rohwer Arkansas Japanese Relocation Facility
PostPosted: Fri Feb 4th, 2011 am28 10:15 am 
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Thanks!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPvBCfdZbPQ

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 Post subject: Re: Rohwer Arkansas Japanese Relocation Facility
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15th, 2012 pm30 12:08 pm 
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Thank you for posting so much information about the Japanese Relocation Facility, I had no idea such a place even existed and now I cannot help but wonder what the fate was of the thousands of people there.

POW camps were plentiful in Oklahoma during WW2 housing thousands of German and Italians, over a thousand at El Reno alone and up to three thousand at a camp near Alva.

Again, thank you for the great effort of work!


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 Post subject: Re: Rohwer Arkansas Japanese Relocation Facility
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14th, 2016 am31 4:33 am 
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nice. Well done!



sbo


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