Camp Amache in Granada, Colorado

The sign at the entrance tells us this is not a traditional camp.

Camp Amache

Camp Amache

Most of the original buildings are gone, but memories linger forever.   After December 7, 1941 and the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, fear, shock, anger and disbelief were some of the emotions running rampant in the United States.    In 1942 the US Government began placing people of Japanese ancestry in Relocation Centers.   One of these Relocation Centers, named Camp Amache, was located in southeast Colorado, on the edge of Granada, Colorado.   Camp Amache opened August 27, 1942 and reached its peak population of 7,318 in February 1943.   To control the internees, barbed wire surrounded the camp and 8 machine gun towers were placed within the camp.   The guns were never used.   Within this compound, Camp Amache was a city.   The internees were often allowed to walk to the town of Granada and some even had jobs in Granada.   Entering Camp Granada today, you first see this wooden sign.

Camp map

Camp map

The map was drawn from memory by one of the former high school students at Camp Amache.   Most of the buildings are gone, but signs show the former location of many buildings.   This was the location of the Coop.

Amache Coop

Amache Coop

The police station was here.

Amache police

Amache police

Internees were hired to work for the police, fire department and other services within the camp.   They were paid, but less than other employees.   The Military Police compound was here.

Military Police Compound. Notice foundation on right

Military Police Compound. Notice foundation on right

You can see still part of the cement foundation.   The guard towers had all been removed,

Guard Tower information

Guard Tower information

but now a replica of a guard tower has been rebuilt.

Replica of Guard Tower

Replica of Guard Tower

The water tank was also removed,

Water tank information

Water tank information

and now a replica has been rebuilt.

Replica of water tank

Replica of water tank

In May each year many former residents of Camp Amache return to Granada, tour the grounds and have a great lunch provided by the town.   This is a time for renewing friendships, reminiscing about the past and catching up on life since leaving Camp Amache.   This was a very difficult time in the United States and many mistakes were made.   At Camp Amache ten percent of the population volunteered to serve in the US military.   Tours are available at certain times.   When we were there, nothing was open and no tours were available.

Lamar, Colorado’s Visitor’s Center with Zeb, Soapy Smith and JB Duck

Sometimes we just get in the car, and mom starts driving.   There is always something interesting to see in Colorado, and everywhere.   We are entering Lamar, Colorado now.

Lamar, Colorado

Lamar, Colorado

We, the Colorado Traveling Ducks, love Visitor’s Centers.   So much information is available and the people are so friendly and so knowledgeable.   Lamar, Colorado’s was great.

Visitor's Center, Lamar, Colorado

Visitor’s Center, Lamar, Colorado

Before entering, we had to see this engine.   Built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1909, it weighs 322,775 pounds.

Locomotive engine

Locomotive engine

This locomotive engine was retired from service October 1953.   A huge statue, Madonna of the Trail, certainly got our attention.

Madonna of the Trail

Madonna of the Trail

It is honoring the women of the trail.   Remember, the Santa Fe Trail passed through Lamar.  On another side of the Visitor’s Center, we found the Enchanted Forest.

Enchanted Forest

Enchanted Forest

What a great location for picnics.   There is even a stage for live entertainment.

Ready for entertainment

Ready for entertainment

This is a great place for visitors and local residents also.   Going in the Visitor’s Center we talked to the humans and found so many places to explore in the area.   However, even though it was an unusual 70 degrees, it is winter, so many locations had limited hours for visitors.  We did visit one location, but this is definitely a place to return when we have more time.   Tomorrow we will show you what we did see.   You might want to plan a trip to Lamar soon.