The internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry during WWII was one of the worst violations of civil rights in the history of the United States. The government and the U.S. Army, citing “military necessity,” removed 110,000 men, women, and children from their homes and took them to ten remote camps. These Americans were never convicted or even charged with any crime, yet were held in camps surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards. One such internment camp was Topaz, located near Abraham, Utah.
The story of these camps has become better known, particularly since President George H. Bush issued a formal apology and token monetary compensation to all former internees in 1990. However, the events and causes of this tragic page in history must never be forgotten. If we can understand what occurred and why, we can avoid a similar denial of civil rights from happening in the future.
This Topaz Museum website contains information about the Topaz Relocation Site. It also lists other resources including books, organizations, and websites about internment. The Topaz Museum is a non-profit, volunteer organization whose purpose is to preserve the history of Topaz. The Great Basin Museum is next door.
The Topaz site is located at 4500 North 10000 West. Take the Sutherland road from Delta and follow the signs to the Topaz Relocation Camp about three miles northwest of Abraham. Please do not remove artifacts from the site.
In Delta the Topaz Museum is located at 55 West Main. Hours of operation are from 11:00 to 5:00 daily except for Sundays and major holidays. Call 435-864-2514 for more information.