February 22, 2012 – Poston and Blythe Intaglios


For a few years, finding the Poston camp has been on my bucket list so today we were off to try to find it.  I stopped by the Visitor Center and they told me that there is only a monument, no buildings left.  However, my research on the internet shows that there is buildings there – we just need to find them.

Poston is located on the Colorado River Indian Tribe Reservation.    A little history on the CRITR:  In 1775, when Father Garces of Spain journeyed the Colorado River area, he found native people (Mohave and Chemehuevi) living along the river in communities where they had done for thousands of years.  The King of Spain recognized the sovereignty of the sole occupants of the territory and treated them as such.  When Mexico seceded from Spain, they continued to recognize this sovereignty.  In 1848, Mexico signed the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and admonished the United States to do the same recognition of the Colorado River Native Peoples.  Today the reservation also includes the Hopi and Navajo tribes and their primary industry is agriculture (although in recent years they are now branching out to other industries).

Once we turned onto Mohave Road, we went thru the farming areas:

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After about 12 miles we arrived at the monument:

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Now, you ask, what is all this about. Well, in 1942, right after Pearl Harbor, over 120,000 persons of Japanese Ancestry living throughout the western states were evacuated and interned in fifteen centers (in other words, detention centers.)  In this area, Poston, there were three camps which held over 17,000 people.  A few years ago I read an article about this camp and there are a number of books about it so I just felt compelled to find it.

Here is a great link:  http://www.javadc.org/poston.htm   and if you want to know more just Google “Poston Camp”.

This Memorial Monument stands 30 feet high and 7 feet wide with a hexagonal base in the form of a Japanese stone lantern.  It is dedicated to the people who were incarcerated at this site from May 5, 1942 to November 28, 1945; to the solders from the camps who were killed in action and to the Colorado River Indian Tribes on whose land the Monument stands.

It is a pretty sobering memorial about our past.

We did not find the buildings so tonight we did more research and hope to head out again to find them.

From there we headed to Ehrenberg, then Blythe where we had lunch in one of the local diners – :-)).  And then back up California SR95, where we did a side trip to the Blythe Intaglios: 02-22-12 C Blythe Intaglios 001

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Very interesting, aren’t they.

Pictures from around that area:

The road to the Intaglios:

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What a contrast – desert – farming:

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What a great day!

Enjoy today.



KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

I can not imagine feeling so threatened to imprison a person based on their nationality back then! I guess you had to live in the time to understand. I sure don't.

Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

Diane said...

Hi Karen, I am like you - hard to understand why this was done. But I think we need to preserve this as a national monument or park so we don't repeat it.. Hope all is well.