DENVER— Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton announced today that the Granada Relocation Center, located in Granada, Colo. and Colorado Chautauqua Park, located in Boulder Colo. have been designated as National Historic Landmarks. Norton’s Director of Intergovernmental and External Affairs Kit Kimball made the announcement during a luncheon speech before the Colorado Preservation Inc annual conference.“Our National Historic Landmarks help to preserve a solid legacy of where we have been as a nation,” Norton said. “It is through these historic sites that we preserve and share our history with future generations.”
The Granada Relocation Center, also known as the Amache Relocation Camp, was the smallest of 10 camps that housed Japanese Americans relocated from the West Coast by the War Relocation Authority. Construction work on Amache began in June 1942. The internment camp was only half complete when the first evacuees began arriving from assembly centers in August 1942. Located in the southeastern corner of Colorado, near the town of Granada, Amache housed 7,597 evacuees, two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens. The camp, closed January 1946, currently includes a system of historic roadways and barracks foundations, as well as a cemetery.
Colorado Chautauqua, founded in 1898, provided educational, cultural and recreational opportunities to millions of Americans. It is the only site of its kind and the only Chautauqua west of the Mississippi. The Chautauqua idea was institutionalized in two quite distinct formats: the independent assembly and the Circuit Chautauqua. The Circuit Chautauqua was a traveling troupe of educators and entertainers who promoted education, culture, and entertainment. The Colorado Chautauqua is open to the public and continues to provide recreation and entertainment for all. “National Historic Landmark designation recognizes and preserves America’s diverse cultural and architectural heritage,” Kimball said. “These national gems are exceptional places that shed light on our history and help explain our past.” The most recent National Historic Landmark for the State of Colorado was April 2004, with the designation of the United States Air Force Academy Cadet Area, located in El Paso county, Colo. Today’s announcement gives Colorado its 19th and 20th National Historic Landmarks. The National Historic Landmark designation is the highest such recognition accorded by our nation to historic properties. These special places embody the actual sites where significant historical events occurred, or where prominent Americans worked or lived, and represent the ideas that shaped our nation. Fewer than 2,500 historic places carry the title of National Historic Landmark.