Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Heart Mtn. Museum receives NPS grant

The AP's Mead Gruver reports this:

The National Park Service has awarded nearly $1 million in grants to increase public awareness about and help preserve sites related to the detention of Japanese-Americans during World War II. The largest of the 19 grants, $282,000, is going to an organization that is building a museum at the former Heart Mountain Relocation Center outside Powell in northern Wyoming.

Grant recipients must raise $1 on their own for every $2 in federal funding they receive. Congress now is considering awarding another $2.5 million through the program next year....

Heart Mountain, which held 11,000 Japanese-Americans at its peak in 1943. Had the camp been a city, it would have been fourth-largest in Wyoming at the time. The Heart Mountain, Wyoming, Foundation has been raising money to build a museum at the site, where all that remains of the relocation center are a brick smokestack and a couple of buildings. The $5.5 million museum has been designed to resemble the long, narrow barracks at the relocation center."Why would you build something that's got marble and looks fancy when it really wasn't that way? It was tarpaper barracks without insulation," said David Reetz, a member of the foundation board. The museum is about half finished and expected to open late next year or early in 2011. Exhibits will include many items that belonged to people who lived at the site, Reetz said.

I visited the Heart Mountain site in late June. The museum/education center is impressive. Up on the hill is a path featuring signs that overlook various aspects of the camp and explain the history. An eye-opening way to spend a quiet June afternoon, storm rolling in over Heart Mountain.

Earlier posts here and here.


mpage225 said...

I would heartily recommend reading the short story "The Good Doctors" from the collection "The Weight of a Body", by this blog's author. Mike has a picture of the book on his front page. It is good enough that I have read it twice.

Michael Shay said...

I too have heard that this is a compelling story by a mysterious writer who lives in an underground bunker somewhere near Cheyenne.