Vol. 1 No. 12

This 11 page souvenir edition is heavily illustrated. Images of each page are provided.

Camp Harmony News-Letter

Vol. 1, No. 12 -- Puyallup -- August 14, 1942
Souvenir Edition

Page 1, cover

Camp Harmony Newsletter Souvenir Edition (cover)

Page 2

Newsletter Page 2 map

      Area D built on the Fairgrounds proper was the heartbeat of Camp Harmony. The headquarters and barracks were built among the dipper, fun house and various concessions, while the race tracks and grandstands hummed with camp life.

      Boasting the distinction of having the most unusual layout, Area D never became monotonous to its over 2,000 residents.

      The above drawing is a P-38 view of the area.

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Newsletter Page 3


      Simultaneously with the arrival of the advance crew of 200 from Camp Harmony last Monday, reports that the Minidoka project in Idaho is steadily being readied for eventual occupation were contained in a WRA Information bulletin received here from Minidoka yesterday.

      Indications that a regular school system will be established was seen in the bulletin announcement which outlined various aspects of community life.

      "Schools, local government, recreation and other aspects of a good community have received much attention in the planning of this center.

      Then, as more residents arrive, a local governing body will be formed, a school board elected, and opportunity provided for the creation of various community services."

      Block managers will replace section leaders at Minidoka, the bulletin further asserted. One will be appointed for each block "to serve as liaison between the residents and the administrative office."

      His duties will consist of serving the residents of his block in much the same manner as the section leaders carried on at Camp Harmony.

      "All appointments as block manager are on a temporary basis," the bulletin stated. This would imply that an election will be held later on to choose permanent block managers.

      Apparently realizing the needs of the oncoming evacuees a canteen was to have been opened Wednesday with a stock consisting of "essential toilet and personal items."

      The bulletin pointed out that the canteen "will be operated by a resident of the community" with "any profits accruing to be used for community needs." It was added that stores owned and operated by the community will be established later.

      Because construction is not completed, the bulletin asserted that advance crew members were assigned to temporary quarters. However, "an attempt will be made later to assign apartments most convenient to places of employment," the bulletin stated.

      Families will be assigned separate apartments or grouped together according to individual desires.

      Describing the water and sanitation conditions, the bulletin had the following to say:

      "Water on the project comes from four deep wells all of which are not yet in operation. Hot water will be available in a few days when the necessary plumbing fixtures are received. Two women's and men's latrines have been constructed for each block."

      As for the hospital unit it was to have been completed this week, according to the bulletin. Persons who are ill and require a special diet should, upon arrival, consult Dr. Neher, Chief Medical Officer, it was advised.


      You know good-natured, good-humored John J. McGovern as the big man from WCCA. Actually he isn't all of that in inches. He is most of the measurement in terms of what he has to put up with in the way of responsibility and hard work. He's the man who has to do [something?] about our collective worries.

      His present desk has been his since May 23. That was when the Army showed him the way to Camp Harmony to fill the peg as middle man between the 7,200 here and the powers-that-be in San Francisco. He wasn't caught short in what administration work demands. In that now historic effort, the Federal Works Administration, he was up there as an administrator.

      His off-time duties crop up at his three-acre farm layout in the vicinity of Everett. He has hogs there and cattle and the work that comes with them. His pals are his wife and two sons.

      "I go fishing whenever I have the chance, but that isn't very often," he said, with traces of regret. And he added to this a liking for the stuff you find in history tomes and historical novels.

      All these are the reapings, after 43 years of life, of a Philadelphia education.

      Commenting on his relations with the evacuees here he had this to say:

      "The people of Camp Harmony have shown full cooperation and my relations with them have been most pleasant."

      That is gray-haired John J. McGovern, good natured, good-humored.

      Vital Statistics

      Mr. and Mrs. Tats Ida
      August 1, boy, Area D

      Mr. and Mrs. Harada
      August 6, boy, Area D

      Mr. and Mrs. Muraoka
      August 6, boy, Area D

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Newsletter Page 4

      Top: In happier days this building housed the administration offices of the Western Washington Fair. To passers-by and residents of Area A, this is the entrance to WCCA administrative office and Area D.

      Left: A one-man factory produces wooden clogs under an improvised sun shade.

      Lower: Some say that timekeepers had the camp's easiest jobs. This office does little to discourage that belief.

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Newsletter Page 5

      Top: The orderly pattern of barracks in Area A confused many a visitor who could never tell whether he was in Third Avenue or Fifth. But the small fry had no trouble, for they oriented their directions from the canteen, always a popular and busy spot. On hot days its cooler disgorged an amazing number of popsicles, ice cream bars and soda pop.

      Center: Rendevous for the tired workman -- the bathhouses -- where one could get a hot shower, usually.

      Lower: A quaint shack, this building houses the garbage can laundry serving all areas. It did a dirty job well.

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Newsletter Page 6

      Sprawled right in the center of Area D is its conglomeration of administrative offices. Here is where the "heart" of the area beats in steady tempo to the various needs of the evacuees. The Information and Postoffice have their boothes here. Over to the right is where the operation and timekeeper offices are situated. Farther in, the canteen and the library ply their trade.

      This is a section of Area D looking east from the grandstand. In the foreground is the boxing ring while further beyond in the background can be seen the WCCA office building. A part of the racing track can also be viewed here. In years gone by, it has resounded to the thundering hoofs of the bangtails.

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Newsletter Page 7

      Top: Area D's mess hall handled the largest group of diners every day. Its entrance became the center of activity each mealtime as almost 3,000 lined up to eat.

      Center: The "A" gate in Area D handled the largest flow of passers. The main entrance to the fairgrounds and the WCCA offices, its red gate was constantly swinging.

      Lower: Lovers of classical music "gathered" on the grassy lawn adjacent to the Isolation hospital to enjoy the Sunday outdoor record concerts.

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Newsletter Page 8

      The "B" gate, outlet for the B-bound in Area D. The "B" line extended from here to drain the neighboring area of its shower water. Prior to the canteen days, ice cream vendors did a landslide business here with the D citizens seeking relief from the heat.

      "B" enterprise is reflected in the much envied "B" pool. On hot days the water "babies," out of walking distance from Madrona took it over.

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Newsletter Page 9

      Visitors to Area C are familiar with the gate where their passes are okayed. The entrance to the smallest area in camp, it was always a popular spot.

      Typical of Camp Harmony's one-room apartment is the above sketch. Within its knotted walls the evacuees have built a home.

      Found in every home are the army stoves, cots with U.S. blankets and makeshift tables and chairs. Clothes and pans hang together on the walls, while an attempt is made to beautify the room with a green plant.

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Newsletter Page 10

      By James Sakamoto

      The past three and a half months have been a most trying period. The first long step of evacuation has been completed and now the time has come to attempt the next stride.

      We have learned many lessons the hard way during our stay at Camp Harmony. Let us profit by them as we face the difficulties that are bound to develop when we reach our new home at the Minidoka Project in Idaho.

      We have learned among other things, the lesson of cooperation. We took over a difficult situation and under the guidance of Mr. John J. McGovern and his staff, transformed Camp Harmony into a smooth-running community. This was possible only because of co-operation, understanding, sacrifice and self-less effort.

      Let us take those qualities with us to our new homes. Let those of us who are able undertake again the difficult, the unpopular, the unpleasant tasks so that the other evacuees may benefit accordingly. That is their contribution to the war effort. Let every man, woman and child do his part, and feel thankful that he is able to contribute toward the community welfare.

      Let us not forget that our record here will speak for us during that difficult period of rehabilitation that must follow the end of the war. Let us go to our new homes cheerfully and loyally, thankful for the period of adjustment given us at Camp Harmony, with faith in the democratic principles of the United States, and determined to carry on until final victory is ours.


      There are times that quiet suffering from trials and circumstances is an actual expression of sincerity, nobility and strength. It means as well the acceptance of a challenge to be carried through to the end in simplicity and honesty and not by artificial expressions of bravery.

      It becomes a true measure by which one's strength, nobility and sincerity are gauged.

      On the eve of our departure from Camp Harmony, what we have or have not accomplished is not so much the question as it is the lesson we have or have not gained from the suffering in an unenviable circumstance forced upon us by the present global war. These are, indeed, times that try men's souls, and the test of courage in accepting the challenge lies within ourselves.

      As first generation citizens of Japanese ancestry, we are yet an unknown element in the American melting pot. Ths is the contribution and sacrifice we are making.

      Ours is a ponderous and difficult task before us to keep ourselves in homogeneity to the spirit of America. This, we shall have the opportunity of performing at Minidoka. We must, and cannot, fail.

      by Bill Hosokawa

      All things are made of little things, like bricks piled atop each other making Rockefeller Center and like rivets holding a Flying Fortress together. It's the little things that make morale, and little things that drive a man mad or elevate him to the plane of genius.

      And so it was the little things that made our stay at Camp Harmony memorable, little things that stood out and seemed at the time like vital milestones on the path of evacuation. But in retrospect all the little things fall into perspective, and so we shall recount a few little things which cling to memory.

      At first the food was bad, they got off the canned rations and the meals were better. Pretty soon we were getting cantaloupes once in a while and raspberries three times a day while they were paying a dollar a crate for folks to pick them. Then one memorable day there was steak for lunch and three pork chops a piece for supper, and then they started to kick about too much meat on the menu.

      There weren't enough showers in D, and a fellow was lucky to get one back in two weeks but after a while they let you go over to A or B or C for a bath. Then the folks over there protested because the people from D. 

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Newsletter Page 11

      "Lest We Forget"

      April 27 67 Alaskans arrive in Camp Harmony during rainstorm, set bad precedent.
      April 28 303 in advance crew from Seattle. Early bird get -- work. Also rain.
      April 30 First movement from Seattle. Preview of Jackson Street. Rain.
      May 5 First News-Letter published. Editor Takeuchi starts hunt for man-Friday.
      May 10 Rain.
      May 16 Last group leaves Seattle. Jackson Street takes over.
      May 18 First baby born to Mrs. Amelia Kita of Area A. News-Letter scoops the world.
      May 23 First wedding -- Nagia-Fukumiyo. News-Letter scoops again.
      May 24 200 volunteers leave for Tule Lake. 200 rumors coming.
      May 30 Memorial Day programs held.
      June 3 Coupon books sale starts. Popsicles sold out in one hour.
      June 6 Graduation exercises for Garfield High School. Broadway grads fume.
      June 8 Broadway exercises held. Garfield fumes.
      June 10 Other Seattle High Schools hold exercises. All is well.
      June 10 Roll call starts. Flat noses get counted.
      June 11 No rain today.
      June 16 Plebiscite votes to retain Japanese staff. Headquarters' headache becomes official.
      June 16 Central library opens. Bookworms start worming.
      June 18 Area D goes to A for showers.
      June 22 Inter-area visiting starts. Area A goes to D.
      June 30 Draft registration for 18-20 group. Camp Harmony registers potential battalion.
      July 1 Free coupons issued. WCCA refuses to sell defense stamps for coupons.
      July 4 Evacuees celebrate Independence day.
      July 9 All-area University dance held in D. Hard-knocks college grads plan exclusive affair.
      July 11 Heat wave. Back doors, transoms, ventilators grace one-room apartments.
      July 13 Bond drive starts.
      July 17 First camp operation in hospital. Bring him back alive.
      July 20 First pay checks issued. Poker games revive.
      July 21 All-area married couple's dance held in D. Dog-house club in full glory.
      July 23 Plasma drive begins. Donors demand beefsteaks for breakfast.
      July 27 Wolves negotiate with Sears-Roebuck for sheepskins.
      August 2 Advance crew signs up for Idaho. Early bird wants worm.
      August 5 Official army orders come for relocation of Camp Harmony to Idaho. 7,000 rumors evaporate.
      August 7 Advance crew leaves for Idaho. Hagiwara leaves on solo honeymoon.
      August 9 Camp becomes hot-bed for rumors as Times reports Puyallup slated for Wyoming.
      August 10 Amateur crate makers cause lumber famine. Carpenters lament.
      August 14 Last News-Letter issued. Paper writes own obituary.
      August 15 First movement begins to Idaho.


      Identification certificates were issued to 934,100 nationals of Italy, Germany and Japan during the registration of enemy aliens early this year, Immigration and Naturalization Commissioner Harrison revealed recently, the OWI announced last week.

      Commissioner Harrison told Attorney General Biddle that as of July 17, certificates had been issued to 599,111 Italians, 263,930 Germans, 47,963 Japanese and 23,096 aliens whose German, Italian or Japanese nationality was in doubt.

      There was a drop of 167,728 in the number of Axis nationals compared with the 1940 alien registration when 1,101,828 Germans, Italians and Japanese were listed.

      The drop in the number of Axis nationals between 1940 and 1941 is due to naturalization, departure, and death of nationals.


      (cont'd from pg. 2)
      used all the hot water, and pretty soon they got some boosters and it got so you could have a shower every other day, or even every day if you wanted.

      It was fun getting acquainted with the neighbors and they looked like nice folks. But after all the top of the partition was open and you could hear things. You learned that this fellow snored, and that other one kept his radio tuned too loudly, and the woman down the street turned out to be the village gossip. And you almost didn't notice that other person. Maybe that was because you couldn't find anything wrong with her.

      There were little things like waiting in line that irritated you, and little things like a slab of watermelon for dessert that made you feel good for the rest of the day.