Camp Harmony


Official name: Puyallup Assembly Center Location: Pierce County, Washington
Coordinates: 47.18° N, 122.30° W size OF CAMP: 43 acres
Opening date: April 28, 1942 Peak population: 7,390
Date of peak: July 25, 1942 Closing date: September 12, 1942

Officially named Puyallup Assembly Center, “Camp Harmony” was a euphemism coined by an army public-relations officer during its construction in 1942.  Following President Franklin Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, some 7,500 residents from Seattle and Tacoma were forced to relocate to this “assembly center” constructed on the Western Washington Fairgrounds at the center of Puyallup, in Pierce County. Washington State is remarkable for being the first place in the nation to send its residents to the camps, when 257 Japanese and Japanese American residence of Bainbridge Island boarded a ferry under military guard on March 30, 1942.  In Seattle, they boarded a train bound for Manzanar Reception Center in California, with some children waving American flags from the train window.