GRANADA HIGH SCHOOL • PO BOX 259
GRANADA, CO 81041-0259
PHONE: (719) 734-5492 FAX: (719) 734-5495
By Executive Order 9066, over 7,000 Japanese, most being American citizens, were forcibly imprisoned at the Granada Relocation Center in Granada, Colorado from 1942-45. The Granada site, with the smallest population of the ten relocation centers, became the tenth largest concentration of people in the state of Colorado; it is one the best preserved with intact foundations and little alteration by subsequent development. It is located one mile west of downtown Granada and one mile south on County Road No. 23.5 in southeast Colorado. The population of Granada peaked at 7,318 detainees.
Granada Relocation Center’s unofficial name became “Amache,” named after a Cheyenne Indian chief’s daughter who married John Prowers (1839-1884), a prominent cattle rancher for whom the county is named. The name Amache was used after a mail mix-up between the town of Granada and the similarly named Granada Relocation Center. The Amache Preservation Society (APS) does not use the Granada Relocation Center terminology, however; instead it uses Amache as a reference. The APS uses the term of Granada Relocation Center as a euphemism to explain to groups what Amache really was, not a “hotel” or “resort” as many are led to believe.
Today, Amache is maintained by the Amache Preservation Society. The society was established by Mr. John Hopper, a social studies teacher at Granada High School, and consists of volunteer students from that school. With the help of many other organizations including Amache Historical Society, the Friends of Amache (formerly the Denver Central Optimists Club), The Japan America Society of Southern Colorado, Denver University and many more, the APS has begun to renovate Amache, particularly the cemetery, and established an Amache Museum. The students travel throughout Colorado and into Kansas and Oklahoma to speak about the World War II internment camps and specifically Amache. For the past six years, the Amache Preservation Society has traveled to Japan to live with host families to learn their culture. In Japan, APS members give presentations to local high schools.
Amache was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 18, 1994 and designated a National Historic Landmark on February 10, 2006 through the direct efforts of the many organizations listed above.
The Amache Preservation Society is located at:
Granada School District RE-1
201 S. Hoisington St • Granada, CO 81041
History Teacher & Mentor is: Mr. John M. Hopper
Amache Preservation Society Activities
Amache Newsletter: Student written, mailed to subscribers; published monthly during the school year
Amache Museum: Student maintained, upkeep with paint and work on inside of building; recently re-located from the school to downtown Granada and open throughout the summer months.
Archaeology: Site digs, e.g., locating and restoring an internee’s fish (koi) pond
Cultural Programs: Japanese foods/restaurant trips; trips to Japan
Historic Research: Interview former inmates, obtain museum items.
Pilgrimages to Amache: Students support the annual event and the devoted pilgrims.
Restoration and Maintenance of Camp: Site identification signs that were donated by the Amache Historical Society, cemetery landscaping and watering, keeping the kiosk in the front gate area free of weeds and change the bulletin board on the kiosk.
Speaking Engagements: Presentations to other high schools, colleges, clubs and organizations
Tours of Camp Site: Students guide and speak to visitors from across the U.S. and beyond.
Grant Seeking and Writing: APS students seek and write grants to a number of finding organizations.
Public Relations work with Amache: Students represent Amache and are held to the highest code. Today there are many who volunteer and realize the importance of keeping this site alive so that it may never happen again.
Relocation Center Colorado: https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/internment/reporta3.htm
Confinement and Ethnicity: An Overview of World War II Japanese American Relocation Sites, Chapter 5, Granada Relocation Center: https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/anthropology74/ce5.htm