Help Uncover History At Manzanar: 2012 Public Archeology Projects at Manzanar National Historic Site

The following is a press release from the National Park Service.

Photo: National Park Service

INDEPENDENCE, CA — The public is cordially invited to help uncover the past at Manzanar National Historic Site this summer. Under the direction of National Park Service archeologist Jeff Burton, three different volunteer archeology and historic restoration workshops will be offered:

June 26-28: In the Administration Area, volunteers will help restore a much photographed cactus garden. On June 27, 1942, the Japanese Americans interned at Manzanar planted a large Joshua tree within a rock planter, and over the following months added smaller Joshua trees, cactus, and rocks. This spring, a new Joshua tree was planted, and our work on the 70th anniversary of the garden will complete the restoration. Volunteers will be planting additional Joshua trees and cactus, resetting missing stones, removing brush and sand, and constructing post-and-cable fences.

August 2-9: Volunteers will help uncover and stabilize two important Japanese gardens: William Katsuki’s barracks garden in Block 24 and Ryozo Kado’s barracks garden in Block 24. Katsuki’s garden is reported to have been the first built at Manzanar. Kado was a master stonemason who built many gardens at Manzanar, as well as the military police and internal police sentry posts at the entrance and the cemetery monument. Volunteers will be digging with shovels and small hand tools, using wheelbarrows, screening sediments to retrieve artifacts, filling out forms and labels, and washing artifacts.

The Park Service will be able to accommodate up to ten volunteers per day. Volunteers must be at least 15 years old and be able to work outdoors. Some of the work is physically demanding, but there will be a variety of tasks each day, to suit a variety of interests and energy levels. Previous archeological experience is helpful, but all that is needed is an interest in history and a willingness to get dirty.

Volunteers must sign up in advance and may work any number of days or hours, but a full day or multiple days are preferred. Work will be conducted regardless of weather, so please come prepared, bring water, lunch, sunscreen, a hat, and work gloves. To sign up go to:, or contact Jeff Burton at or (760) 878-2194 x3305.

Manzanar National Historic Site is located at 5001 Highway 395, six miles south of Independence, California. For more information, visit our web site at or call (760) 878-2194.


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One Response to Help Uncover History At Manzanar: 2012 Public Archeology Projects at Manzanar National Historic Site

  1. Pingback: Help Uncover History At Manzanar: 2012 Public Archeology Projects … | VanRanke and Droysen

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