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Tule Lake Segregation Center

  • Also Known As: Tule Lake Relocation Center
  • Also Known As: Newell Townsite
  • Also Known As: Tule Lake War Relocation Center

  • Address: NE side CA 139
  • Travel Genus: Sight
  • Sight Category: Historic District

Tule Lake was the largest and longest-lived of the ten camps built by the civilian War Relocation Authority (WRA) to house Japanese Americans relocated from the west coast of the United States under the terms of Executive Order 9066. More historic buildings survive at Tule Lake than at any of the other relocation centers. The extant stockade jail, large sections of the original barbed wire fence, and many of the buildings constructed to house the military police survive to testify to the high security that defined the segregation center. Penciled graffiti inscribed by imprisoned evacuees survives in the jail. An almost unaltered recreation building and a complex of industrial buildings also survive; there are few examples of either building type remaining at any of the other relocation centers. This relocation center was designated a National Historic Landmark in February, 2006 for its national importance in the historic context of Japanese Americans in World War II. - NPS



Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
WCCA Architect
US Army, War Relocation Authority Architect
1942/00/00 Internment of Americans with Foreign Enemy Ancestry
1946/03/00 Tule Lake Segregation Center closes Internment of Americans with Foreign Enemy Ancestry

Data »

Particulars for Tule Lake Segregation Center:
Area of Significance Architecture
attribute Asian
Criminal Justice Correctional Facility
Owner Federal
Sight Category Historic District
Criteria Historic Event
Historic Use Institutional housing
Historic Use Internment Camp
Cultural Affiliation Japanese-American
Area of Significance Law, Legal System
Area of Significance Military
Historic Use Military facility
Level of Significance National
Area of Significance Politics-government
Use Relocation Center
Area of Significance Social History
Owner State
Historic Use Storage
Historic Event World War II

US National Registry of Historic Places Data »

Accurate at time of registration: 17th February 2006

Registry Name: Tule Lake Segregation Center
Registry Address: NE side CA 139
Registry Number: 06000210
Resource Type: District
Owner: State, Federal
Architect: WCCA; US Army, War Relocation Authority
Architectural Style: Other
Attribute: Internment Camp
Area in Acres: 42
Contributing Buildings: 6
Non-Contributing Buildings: 1
Contributing Sites: 1
Contributing Structures: 6
Non-Contributing Structures: 1
Contributing Objects: 1
Non-Contributing Objects: 1
Other Certification: Date received-pending nomination, Designated National Landmark
Certification: Listed in the National Register
Nominator Name: National Historic Landmark
Level of Significance: National
Area of Significance: Architecture, Asian, Politics-government, Law, Social history
Applicable Criteria: Event
Significant Year: 1942, 1944, 1946
Historic Function: Government, Domestic, Defense, Agriculture, subsistence
Historic Sub-Function: Storage, Institutional housing, Military facility, Correctional facility
Current Function: Vacant, not in use, Commerce, Trade
Current Sub-Function: Warehouse

History »


In 1943, Tule Lake was converted to a maximum security segregation center for evacuees from all the relocation centers whom the WRA had identified as "disloyal." Consequently, it had the most guard towers, the largest number of military police, eight tanks, and its own jail and stockade. In spite of the high security, the center continued to be plagued by conflict; in November 1943, Tule Lake was taken over by the army and continued under martial laws until January 1944. Protests from the Japanese government and from the California Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union eventually led to the release of all prisoners held in the stockade. - NPS

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