Tule Lake Unit of WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument, Tulelake

#8484 of 9,017 in Things to do in California
Monument · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument was established on December 5, 2008 serving as a reminder of the hardships endured on the home front during World War II, with monuments in California, Hawaii, and Alaska. The two sites of the Tule Lake Unit, the Tule Lake Segregation Center, located in Newell, CA and Camp Tulelake, located along Hill Road just west of Tulelake, CA, represent the unique history of the small community living here and the nation during this period. On March 12, 2019 the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act was signed, which made the Tule Lake Unit its own national monument, now known as Tule Lake National Monument.


The Tule Lake Segregation Center, one of ten war relocation centers established throughout the United States under the auspices of the War Relocation Authority, held 18,789 of the 120,000 men, women, and children of Japanese ancestry who were displaced from their homes and forcibly moved to these Centers. These people, mostly American citizens, lost nearly everything they had worked for. It was transformed into a Segregation Center in 1943 when a loyalty questionnaire was used to separate the supposedly “loyal” from the “disloyal” amongst the Japanese-Americans. Due to the harsh conditions of the center, along with misinformation and rumors, strife and controversy arose. This led to the construction of a stockade, with a jail, and the implementation of martial law.

Camp Tulelake began as a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp in 1935, housing young men between the ages of 17 and 28 who were employed as a measure to reduce the rampant unemployment and economic chaos that gripped the nation. These men rehabilitated and expanded the use of public lands. In 1943 it was transformed to hold 100 men from the Tule Lake Segregation Center who refused to answer the loyalty questionnaire. Later that same year it was used to house a group of 243 Japanese Americans from other war relocation centers to break a farm strike at the Segregation Center. In 1944 it was then converted into a prisoner of war (POW) camp. Remodeled by 150 Italian POWs, it held 800 German POWs who work in the Tulelake Basin helping local farmers harvest and tend their fields.
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Tule Lake Unit of WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument reviews

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7 reviews
  • I don't think many tourists get here but this was a highlight of our 2-week trip. Early in 1942 FDR authorized the US army to remove nearly 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry, whether citizens or....  more »
  • The Tule Lake Unit, during World War II, was the home for thousands of Americans of Japanese decent. They were taken from their homes and, quite honestly, forced to live in one of the hundreds of...  more »
  • Had a great guided tour!

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