Saturday, December 11, 2010

A cold ride to a dark place.

Saturday Dec. 11 Will and I decide to take advantage of the absence of snow on the roads and go for a ride.

South of West Valley City about 120 miles is the town of Delta. Near Delta is the WW II era "Topaz Internment Camp" This is a dark page of U.S. history, an Executive Order (#9066) issued on March 27, 1942 caused 120,000 people of Asian decent, about 75,000 of which were American citizens, to be uprooted from their homes, jobs, and in many cases families and sent to "Relocation Camps". This was done without trial or hearing completely ignoring the rights of those 120,000 people.

About 8,000 of those people ended up in Topaz, Utah.

So that is our destination for the day; on the way there we see some folks unloading this machine ...maybe to do some skeet shooting?

It was a COLD ride, especially as we neared Eureka. Climbing the road to Eureka we could feel the temperature dropping fast. I think it had to be 20 degrees cooler in Eureka, than it was in Elberta!

Yes, the glare on the road is ice...

The town of Eureka has a population of approx 800. Elevation is 6430.
The very cute lady in the gas station/store tells us temperatures are usually at least 10 degrees cooler at all times during the year than the other towns in the area. They have some shops there that one of these days I need to take the time to look at. As we rode thru Saturday I noticed a new gun store...
Eureka was part of the "Tintic Mining District" and was known for silver and gold mines.
Lots of old historic buildings there as well; under the canopy is the Porter Rockwell cabin. Porter Rockwell was known as Joseph Smith's bodyguard.

Town hall.
Quaint old church, I didn't check what denomination it was.

We continue to ride south on US highway 6 until we turn west on SR 174 which takes us past the Intermountian Power Plant. The IPP went into operation in 1986 and serves about 36 communities including some in California and Nevada. That tall stack is 701 feet tall.

Views of IPP as we approach.

And as we are riding away from it.

We covered lots of dirt roads to get to the Topaz Camp. They were temptingly smooth, long, and sparsly populated; but we obeyed all speed limits. Sort of...

The Topaz Internment camp. The newer white signs are apparently an Eagle Scout Project and were placed recently.

Will the Thrill.
We couldn't figure out what the structures in the background were for.

Closer looks.

Lots of artifacts laying around.

Topaz consisted of 42 gridded blocks surrounded by barbed wire, and guards.
Someone's residence. They seemed to be the local experts on Topaz, and had a lot of info spread around their home; but we didn't see any live bodies while we were there.
The "American" flag is not an official one, note the insert in the center of the flag. However I feel it still should be treated with proper respect; it's not the flag that committed the atrocities of Executive Order #9066

Replicas of camp buildings I think...

Sense of humor... :)

There was a large mailbox near the "sentry" that has pamphlets in it that detailed a lot of information about life at the camp.

The official memorial...hard to find but worth the effort. It is straight west of the actual camp.

You can see the cement foundation of the hospital.

Pretty hard to imagine treating people the way our government did these innocent Asians during this era. Yes, America was outraged by the attack on Pearl Harbor, but cooler minds should have prevailed. I can only imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the liberal media and handwringing dems had anyone suggested we put U.S. muslims in camps after 9-11.

Sorry for the rant. 270 miles of COLD riding and we were done. You have to take what you can get in the winter.. Thanks to Will The Thrill for prodding me out the door!


GF said...

Nice pictures and story, I started reading this thinking Eureka, Nevada (I was there in July) but then realized this is Eureka, Utah. I had read about it but had never seen pictures.

Ken said...

George, funny you should say that. Several years ago my wife and I rode to the west coast, in three days we rode through Eureka Utah, Eureka Nevada, and Eureka California. :)

BeemerGirl said...

Great post. I love riding to and through history. Gives an eerie feeling of connectivity to generations past.

Can't believe all of the snow and ice!!


Ken said...

Agreed Lori, ghost towns, ruins, the like, are very fun to go and see. Of course the going to and coming back are fun too! :)

Anonymous said...

It's been a busy month, just had time to catch up on your blog. I will definitely go check Topaz out. This is really fascinating!

Thanks, Bob P

Ken said...

Let me know Bob, if it's a Saturday I could meet you there. Also I know a good eatery in Delta.