Amache Special Resource Study Receives Extension to December 15, 2020

Camp Amache Main Entrance


The National Park Service (NPS) is conducting a Special Resource Study (SRS) of the Granada Relocation Center, commonly known as Amache. Located about a mile southwest of Granada, Colorado, Amache was one of 10 incarceration sites established during World War II under the War Relocation Authority to illegally detain Japanese Americans forcibly removed from the west coast of the United States under Executive Order 9066. A Special Resource Study applies congressionally-established criteria to evaluate the eligibility of an area for designation as a new unit of the national park system.

Public involvement is a key aspect of the Amache Special Resource Study, and the study team welcomes your thoughts, ideas and feedback. The comment period has been extended through December 15, 2020. There are several ways to submit your comments:

  1. By emailing the study team directly at:
  2. By mailing written comments to the following address:

Attn: Tamara Delaplane
National Park Service
12795 West Alameda Parkway
PO Box 25287
Denver, CO 80225-0287

Topic Questions are listed below for your consideration in providing comments. Your input is important to us. Thank you for your interest and participation in this important project!

Topic Questions:

  1. What is your vision for preserving Amache? How would you like to see the site managed? What types of activities and experiences do you want to see as part of Amache’s future?
  2. Do you have any ideas or concerns that the National Park Service should be aware of and/or address in the study process?
  3. What objects, buildings, remaining features, values and stories do you believe are most important and why?
  4. What do you think differentiates Amache from the other nine Japanese American incarceration camps?
  5. Do you have any other ideas or comments you would like to share with us?

About the Study Area

On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, leading to the forced removal of more than 110,000 Japanese Americans from their homes and communities on the West Coast to a system of incarceration sites.

The Granada Relocation Center, commonly known as Amache, was one of 10 incarceration sites built to imprison Japanese Americans during World War II. Although it had the smallest population of the 10 sites, more than 10,000 people passed through Amache between August 1942 and October 1945. At its peak, Amache housed more than 7,300 individuals, two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens.

The War Relocation Authority, through purchase or condemnation, used 10,000 acres of land for the Amache incarceration site. The central, “built-up” portion of Amache was 640 acres (one square mile) and was primarily made up of 29 blocks of military-style barracks used as residential blocks and administrative buildings. Surrounded by barbed wire fence with six watch towers along the perimeter, incarcerees lived under armed guard.

Living quarters were cramped; families were assigned to one small room. Incarcerees had little privacy, as each block shared a communal mess hall, laundry, toilets, and a shower room. The military police and administrative staff lived in a separate part of the camp. The remaining 9,360 acres of Amache were used for agriculture to sustain the camp.

In December 1944, following the US Supreme Court decision on Ex parte Mitsuye Endo (323 U.S. 283), which ruled that the War Relocation Authority acted beyond its power and could not detain American citizens without charges, the camps began to close. Many incarcerees hesitated to return to California, having lost their homes and property and knowing that there was strong anti-Japanese sentiment.  Japanese Americans gradually left Amache. Their lives disrupted, many struggled to rebuild as they faced an uncertain future.

Following the camp’s closure on October 15, 1945, the buildings were demolished or removed, and Amache’s agricultural lands reverted to private farming and ranching. The land comprising the built-up portion of the center was sold to the Town of Granada.

Today, the historic cemetery, concrete foundations, road network, perimeter fence, and elements of the historic landscape remain. Recent efforts to preserve Amache have led to the restoration of the original water tower and the reconstruction of a guard tower and residential barracks.

Over the past 40 years, former incarcerees and their descendants have returned to Amache as part of an annual pilgrimage. In 2006, the secretary of the interior designated Amache a National Historic Landmark, affirming its national significance as part of the Japanese American incarceration during World War II.

(Editor’s Note:  The new Amache Museum is now open to the public at 108 East Goff Street in Granada, the former site of TBK Bank, which donated the building to the Granada School District this past December.  An appointment is suggested as the museum may not be open at all hours.)

Filed Under: City of GranadaEducationFeaturedHistoryMedia ReleaseTourism


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