Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Sacramento Assembly Center
Early in World War II, the Sacramento Assembly Center (also known as the Walerga Assembly Center) was established to house Japanese Americans forcibly "evacuated" from the West Coast under Executive Order 9066. The camp was one of fifteen temporary detention facilities where over 110,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of them U.S. citizens, were held while construction on the more permanent War Relocation Authority camps was completed. The assembly center was built on the site of a former migrant labor camp, and inmates began arriving from Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties on May 6, 1942. It closed after only 52 days, on June 26, and the population of 4,739 was transferred to the Tule Lake concentration camp. The site was then turned over to the Army Signal Corps and dedicated as Camp Kohler. After the war and the end of the incarceration program, returning Japanese Americans were often unable to find Sacramento housing and so 234 families temporarily lived at the former assembly center. Camp Kohler was destroyed by a fire in December 1947, and the assembly center site is now part of the Foothill Farms-North Highlands subdivision.