internment camp is lecture subject
This Thursday, as part of the 14th Annual Historical Museum at St. Gertrude Fall Lecture Series, author and historian Priscilla Wegars will present her new book, As Rugged as the Terrain.
As Rugged as the Terrain explores some intriguing history of the wild and scenic Lochsa River. This book continues her work on the Japanese Internment Camp at Kooskia, Idaho and recounts uses for the camp prior to World War 11, which included a Civilian Conservation Corps Camp and a federal prison camp.
In 1893 this site, at turbulent Canyon Creek, was a footnote in the saga of the ill-fated Carlin hunting party. Next, in 1933, it housed nearly two hundred tent-dwelling Civilian Conservation Corps recruits, most of whom were “city slickers” from New York State whose antics provide a colorful tableau of young men on their own and far from home.
In 1935 the site became Federal Prison Camp No. 11, a road-building facility for convicts mostly from the Leavenworth, Kansas, penitentiary. Although the authorities stressed rehabilitation rather than punishment, the camp's unsecured status (it had no fence) did allow several thrilling escapes.
After the prison camp closed in May 1943, Japanese detainees at the Kooskia Internment Camp continued road construction for two more years. Several chapters in As Rugged as the Terrain document the Japanese internees’ story as compared with the experiences of Italian and German internees in the vicinity.
Priscilla Wegars, PhD, is an independent historian and historical archaeologist. She is also the author of Imprisoned in Paradise: Japanese Internee Road Workers at the World War II Kooskia Internment Camp (Caxton, 2010). She is the founder and volunteer curator of the University of Idaho’s Asian American Comparative Collection. This program is made possible by funding from the Idaho Humanities Council, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The lectures, held on Thursdays during the month of October, provide insights into the history of our region and presentations on topics of interest to the local public. Lectures begin at 7:00 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m. A Q&A session with the presenters follows the lectures. Light refreshments are provided.
The events are held in the Johanna Room at Spirit Center at the Monastery of St. Gertrude located at 465 Keuterville Road, Cottonwood, Idaho. Suggested donations for the lectures are $5.00 for singles and $7.50 for couples. For further information on the Lecture Series, contact the Museum at 208-962-2050.