Join us at the Moab Museum on Saturday, February 17th for the free public exhibition opening of A Moab Prison Camp: Japanese American Incarceration in Grand County. From 10 am-2 pm, we will be hosting a Scan and Share event in the Museum gallery. Staff from the Utah Historical Society will be here in the Museum’s galleries to help gather stories or artifacts related to the Moab Isolation Center at Dalton Wells where Japanese Americans were incarcerated during WWII.
About the Exhibition:
A Moab Prison Camp: Japanese American Incarceration in Grand County introduces the local and national story of Japanese American incarceration during WWII. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 authorizing the wartime incarceration of over 120,000 Japanese Americans, a majority of whom were US Citizens, in detention facilities across the country. The Moab Isolation Center, located north of Moab at Dalton Wells, played a brief but significant role in the web of Japanese American incarceration facilities: a former Civilian Conservation Corps camp was transformed into a temporary prison camp for so-called “troublemakers” from other camps. In this exhibit, a tale of injustice and resilience unfolds via stories and objects, introducing the national context with Smithsonian’s Righting a Wrong poster exhibition and research conducted by Utah State Parks.
This exhibit unpacks the nuanced terminology used during that era and following, inviting visitors to confront the usage of words like “relocation” versus “incarceration” and wrestle with the gravity of terms such as “concentration camp.” Through compelling narratives curated collaboratively with descendants and partners, A Moab Prison Camp illuminates the resilience and resistance exhibited by those imprisoned in Moab. It offers a broader exploration of the Japanese-American experience during this tumultuous period in US history.