Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
This was the California
Rodeo Grounds, one mile north of downtown Salinas. It operated
as an assembly and processing center for the local ethnic Japanese
from April 27 to July 4, 1942. At its peak it housed 3,586 people.
Most of the people processed here went to the Colorado River
Relocation Camp at Poston, AZ. On July 24, 1942 it was turned
over to the VII Corps which used it for the duration of the war.
After the war, it again became the California Rodeo Grounds.
Source: World War II Sites in
the United States: A Tour Guide and Directory by Richard E. Osbourne
Salinas Assembly Center
aerial view of the Salinas Assembly Center.
Occupied from April 27
to July 4, the Salinas Assembly Center was built at a fairgrounds
at the north end of the town of Salinas. It housed a total of
3,608 evacuees from the Monterey Bay area. The maximum population
at one time was 3,594. Over 165 buildings are depicted in the
aerial photograph, which shows barracks to the north and east
of the fairgrounds proper, six buildings within the racetrack
infield, and perimeter guard towers.
Salinas Assembly Center
The fairgrounds now encompasses
the California Rodeo Grounds, a small neighborhood park (Sherwood
Park), and the Salinas Community Center. The grandstand and auxiliary
buildings present in the 1942 aerial photograph remain, but the
main area of assembly center barracks is now a golf course. In
the rear courtyard of the Salinas Community Center there is a
State of California historical marker commemorating the assembly
center and a small fenced Japanese garden. Another historical
marker indicates that the assembly center was later used to train
army unit during
World War II. The courtyard is perhaps most known for its cowboy
hat sculpture "Hat in Three Stages of Landing" (Figure
Nataional Archive and Records Administration and US National
and Ethnicity: An Overview of World War IIJapanese American Relocation
Sites by J. Burton, M. Farrell, F. Lord, and R. Lord
Salinas Garrison, Fort Ord
Upon evacuation of Japanese
Americans from the Pacific Coast, the site became a Fort Ord
satellite installation for temporary housing of troops. The last
service using the installation was the Ninth Service Command.
The improvements identified as owned by the United States were
an unspecified number of temporary buildings and other types
of structures. The Disposal Plan recommended the government owned
buildings be sold and the infirmary, well pump equipment, water
storage tank and water tank tower be relocated to Fort Ord. If
not, "the water system and fire equipment" were to
be considered as partial consideration in lieu of restoration.
This action was to be negotiated with the City of Salinas. In
1946, the leasehold for the total 278.174 acres was terminated.
Source: Army Corps of Engineers
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