Volunteers Invited To Join Public Archeology Projects At Manzanar, March 24-29 and May 26-30, 2017

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


To download a printable flyer, click on the image above (Adobe Acrobat Reader software required.

INDEPENDENCE, CA — Manzanar National Historic Site’s award-winning public archeology program provides exceptional opportunities to learn about the past and help preserve the site and its stories for the future. This year marks the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 and the 25th anniversary of Manzanar National Historic Site. In recognition of these significant milestones, Manzanar is hosting two public archeology projects, March 24 to 29 and May 26 to 30.

Volunteers will have the unique opportunity to assist the National Park Service in uncovering and stabilizing Manzanar’s historic administration and staff housing area. Participants will learn about both the common and contrasting experiences of camp staff and incarcerees as well as the differences between Japanese landscaping aesthetics and “western” military-style landscaping.

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A Little Research, Writing Helps Open A Pathway To A Family’s Manzanar History

Takio and Masako Muto – Wedding photo, June 1941.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo courtesy Muto Family Collection

by Susan Muto Knight

Former Manzanar incarcerees, Takio (Tak) and Masako (Ma) Muto and other Muto family members were among the over 11,070 incarcerated Japanese Americans, government ordered, to leave their homes and businesses behind in the spring of 1942, to live in an isolated location in the Owens Valley of California, between the Sierra Nevada and Inyo Mountains, called Manzanar, during World War II. Their civil rights were taken from them, even though Tak and Ma were born in California and loyal, productive American citizens. Their joyful future plans as newlyweds were also taken away and instead, Tak and Ma found themselves incarcerated in a strange barren, desert camp, surrounded by armed guards, barbed wire fences and guard towers with searchlights, ordered to live in the hastily built, wooden barracks with little to no privacy and very little protection from the harsh weather conditions. The sign on the entrance calls Manzanar a relocation camp but in reality it was a concentration camp environment. Their story is one of the many thousands of stories of those who endured Manzanar, a dark chapter in American History.

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Volunteers Invited To Join Public Archeology Project At Manzanar, May 27 To 31

NPS staff and volunteers excavate Block 14.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Bob Mansfield/National Park Service

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


INDEPENDENCE, CA — Manzanar National Historic Site’s award-winning public archeology program provides exceptional opportunities to learn about the past and help preserve the site and its stories for the future. From May 27 to 31, 2016, volunteers have the unique opportunity to assist the National Park Service (NPS) in uncovering and stabilizing features in Block 14 and potentially adjacent blocks.

Block 14 is Manzanar’s “demonstration block,” where visitors can explore a typical residential block, including two reconstructed barracks and a restored World War II-era mess hall.

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Public Archaeology Project At Manzanar National Historic Site, March 25-30, 2016

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


Photo from the July 2015 Public Archaeology Project at
Manzanar National Historic Site
Photo: Jeff Burton/National Park Service

INDEPENDENCE, CA — The public is cordially invited to join National Park Service staff and others in uncovering and preserving the historic administration and staff housing area at Manzanar National Historic site, March 25-30, 2016.

Volunteers and Manzanar NHS staff will be clearing brush, removing brush and sand from landscape features, installing vehicle barriers, resetting missing stones, and painting stones. Volunteers will be digging with shovels and small hand tools, cutting and loading brush, using wheelbarrows, collecting rocks to reconstruct landscape features, painting rock alignments, and occasionally screening sediments to retrieve artifacts.

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