Temporary Towns

In the Great Depression years of the 1930s, the federal government established the Civilian Conservation Corps to put unemployed young men to work on public works projects. The recruits lived on public lands in camps that ranged from simple tents to barracks. A number of such camps were established in Utah, and then disappeared along with the program at the start of U.S. involvement in World War II.

Another special case is the overnight “city” of Topaz, also known as the Central Utah Relocation Center. During World War II, the U.S. government, citing security concerns, evacuated people of Japanese descent from the West Coast and held them as virtual prisoners in remote inland camps such as Topaz. Once the war and the perceived threat were over, the camps were closed.

For more information on Japanese Americans during World War II, see the Kasai Japanese American Archive Exhibit.

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