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Topaz Relocation Camp, Utah

Millard County

Where does one begin on a ghost town such as Topaz? At the time, the idea of moving Japanese people away from their homes and placing them in prison camps was acceptable to the majority of the people in the United States due to the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor by the nation of Japan. The American people were furious with the Japanese for the war they now brought to them. America was in an isolationist mood at the time. Sure, we'll send Russia and England war materials but we were hoping to ride this one out and keep our involvement to a minimum. December 7th changed all that and made America declare war on Japan and Germany and Italy. This anger carried over to hating every Japanese person, citizen or not, in the country. The mentality was that they could not be trusted. Within 2 months of Pearl Harbor, Executive Order 9066 was signed by President Roosevelt ordering that all persons of Japanese ancestry be removed from their present living areas and sent to relocation camps in from the coastal region. Topaz Utah was one of these camps. Located 15 miles west of Delta, the camp consisted of 640 acres of main living on an 19800 acre site. The site was opened in September of 1942 and stayed open till October 1945. 9000 residents made Topaz the 5th largest city in Utah at the time. When the camp was finally closed, many of the buildings were auctioned off to local farmers. The only things left after all this time are concrete slabs, bricks, stove pipes and general rusted junk. I did discover something quite interesting as i wandered through the area. It appears to be some sort of manhole for water or something. It looks almost new so I really don't know how old it is or actually what it is. 

Topaz 08/23/2019