Amache Internment Center: Granada


Year Listed: 2001
County: Powers County
Construction Date: 1942
Threat When Listed: Demolition by Neglect 
Status: SAVE for 2016


Fear of espionage led the United States government to exile thousands of Japanese American citizens to internment centers during World War II. In 1942, one of a few internment centers in the nation, the Granada Relocation Center, also known as Amache, was built on Colorado’s eastern plains. Surrounded by barbed wire and wood-framed guard towers, the center at Amache consisted of housing units, a school, a hospital, warehouses, utility buildings, and a military police compound.  Over 7,000 of our fellow citizens were relocated to Amache, where they lived and worked until the center closed in 1945.

Today the site retains tangible reminders of those years, including foundations of center facilities, trees planted by former internees, one of only three surviving relocation center cemeteries in the nation, and intact original dirt and gravel roads. Just two years after WWII ended, there we no more buildings standing at Amache. All remnants of habitation at the 600-acre site had been stripped, sold, or razed immediately following the war’s end. Most of the buildings, or pieces of deconstructed buildings, ended up in nearby counties in southeastern Colorado, Oklahoma, and Kansas.



In February 2006, Amache was designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service.  In 2007 the Friends of Amache and the National Park Service organized a Comprehensive Interpretive Plan and Conceptual Development Plan outlining the interpretive and educational goals of the Amache site. The Plan creates a more interactive, sensory visitor experience at Amache that can be provided by the physical presence of buildings on site grounds.  An additional interpretation project created podcasts/driving tours, and installed additional wayfinding signs. CPI is scheduled to move this next phase forward with the help of critical partners, including former internees and descendants from the Fuchigami and Taniwaki families, among many others.

Remarkably, the original water tower tank was found, mostly intact, at a nearby ranch. The owners donated the tank to the Amache Preservation Society to be used for reconstruction. Working in partnership with the Friends of Amache and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Colorado Preservation, Inc. was awarded two grants from the National Park Service’s Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program for the reconstruction of the guard tower and water tower.

A 2012 National Park Service grant of $241,124 facilitated the reconstruction of the barracks building. The barracks at Amache were divided into six rooms, each housing four to seven people; the reconstruction gives visitors a visual and physical indication of the crowded conditions. Located near a reconstructed guard tower, the structure reminds visitors that Japanese Americans at Amache were under constant surveillance, although crime was virtually non-existent. 

Photo courtesy of the Amache Preservation Society.

A 2011 Amache building stock survey revealed that an original building from Amache, identified as “Rec.Hall 11F” was standing nearby, having served the town of Granada as a storage shed since the 1940s. The original stenciled nomenclature “Block 11F” still visible on the siding allowed a positive ID and foundation match. John Hopper of the Amache Preservation Society worked with the City of Granada to arrange a generous donation of the building back to the site. This move is set for Spring 2018. The National Park Service’s JACS grant program provided critical funding for this move. Once the building is reset on the foundation and listed within the Landmark designation, History Colorado State Historical Funds will match these funds to mothball (close up) the building. Once secured on-site, Gates Family Foundation funding will support the historically accurate reconstruction of a 20-foot section of the building removed to fit it on a flatbed truck in the 1940s.

The Friends of Amache, the Amache Preservation Society, the National Park Service, Colorado Preservation, Inc., the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Colorado’s Congressional Delegation worked together to document and garner support for the preservation of Amache.

Amache is maintained and stewarded by the Amache Preservation Society, which is directed by Granada High School Social Studies Teacher John Hopper and his students.  Each year, national pilgrimages are made to all former WWII Japanese-American relocation sites.  Amache is open to the public and visitors may learn about the site through an official driving tour with numbered waypoints and narrated podcasts.

Click here to learn more about the history/current projects at Amache.

Additional Links:
The Amache Preservation Society
Colorado Preservation, Inc. is working with the Park Service, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Friends of Amache to fund the restoration …

Donate to CPI

We hope you will extend your appreciation for Colorado's heritage by helping us take advantage of this $1 to $1 matching campaign. Learn more about our matching campaign and make your tax-deductible donation today!

Matching Campaign

Thank you to our donors for this matching campaign!

Karen J. Jonas

PACE Conservation Solutions


Barbara MacFarlane and Peter Marczyk

Jennifer and Nathan Charles

Rosemarie Patterson

Dan Love and Cameron Wolfe

Cindy Neely

Erin Spletzer

PACE Conservation Solutions

Carla McConnell

Richard Cronenberger

James and Barbara Steely

Gregory A. Movesian

Janet Dahlquist

Roxanne Eflin

Bennett Boeschenstein

Matt Goebel

Kim Grant

Alan Matlosz

Stephanie Soldner

Hannah Braun

Laurel Campbell

Nore Winter

Peter Grosshuesch

Andy Duckett-Emke

Kelly and Peter Merrion

Blair and Chris Miller

Mike and Anne Coughlin

Steven Turner and  Steven Kick

T. Drew Notestine

Ron and Linde Thompson

Megan Concannon

Rebecca Goodwin

Elaine Freed

Nicole Hernandez

Dan Corson

Lucas Schneider

Jon Nathan Schler

Jane and Phil Watkins

Ariel Steele 

Kimberly Kintz

Lisa A. Stegman

Graham and Paula Johnson

James and Joan Kroll

James Hewat

JoVonne P. Fitzgerald

Jennifer Wahlers

Stephen Blitz

Arianthé Stettner

Ashley Bushey

Ann Mullins

R. Michael Bell

Nan and Dave Anderson

Patrick Eidman

Beverly Rich

Jane Daniels

Kaaren Hardy

Cynthia Pond

Rheba Massey

Katherine Woods and Christopher Koziol

Paul O’Rourke

Dave Lively

Lisa May

Ann Alexander Walker

Julie Johnson

Sally Hopper


Judith W. Amico

Featured Project

Preservation for a Changing Colorado

The 2017 update, Preservation for a Changing Colorado, resulted from a partnership between Colorado Preservation and History Colorado and Colorado Preservation, Inc. Prepared by Clarion Associates, the new report and accompanying website document the economic benefits of rehabilitation projects, analyzes property values and neighborhood stability in local historic districts, and summarizes the increasing impact of heritage tourism, private preservation development and the success of Colorado’s Main Street program. In a key finding, researchers found that for every $1 million spent on historic preservation in Colorado leads to $1.03 million in additional spending, 14 new jobs, and $636,700 in increased household incomes across the state! The 2017 report also considers the important role preservation plays in helping Coloradans provide new spaces for creative communities and co-working, create and sustain meaningful places, respond to the state’s changing demographics, and address climate concerns. Click Here to see the full report, "Preservation for a Changing Colorado".