Maybe you and your kids remember learning about Japanese internment camps in school; maybe you don’t. Either way, it’s important to revisit this part of history at Heart Mountain Interpretive Center in Powell, Wyoming, just outside of Cody.
This is the site where more than 14,000 innocent Japanese Americans were confined during World War II, following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. They were forced from their homes and their pets and asked to bring one small suitcase only. When they arrived at Heart Mountain, they found poor living conditions, with little to no privacy and meager portions of food.
Still, they persevered in the face of darkness, going to work or school, getting married, and having children (550 babies were born!) in this town, the third largest in Wyoming at the time. Heart Mountain War Relocation Center operated from 1942 to 1945, as did nine other internment camps in the U.S.
While most of the buildings at Heart Mountain have been torn down, Heart Mountain Interpretive Center preserves this piece of history through artifacts, interactive displays, stories, and a moving film. Because of the nature of this museum, we recommend it for older children.
Admission is $9 per adult, $7 for students and seniors, and free for kids under age 12.
It’s open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.