During World War II, thousands of American citizens
of Japanese descent having committed no crime
apart having Japanese ancestry were detained
at camps across the country. This camp housed up to
10,000 people until it was closed in 1954. It's on Highway
395, about five miles south of Independence look
for the two aged entrance monuments to the site on the
west side of the highway. The new Interpretive Center
opened in April, 2004. Manzanar is a bleak, dry place
as uninviting as it must have been for the relocated
families during WWII.
This old narrow-guage hauled freight and folks up and
down the Owens Valley for years. It was put to rest
many years ago, and its aging but timelessly
romantic hulk now stands in Dehy park, on the
north end of Independence. A nice picnic spot with lots
of shady trees and a touch of the Old West.
155 N. Grant St., Independence (just west of Hwy 395)
This small but likeable museum tells about the natural
and cultural history of this region. You'll learn about
Native American & Pioneer history, Manzanar, and
more. There's an excellent collection of books of local
interest. Open every day but tuesday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.