Tule Lake


Official name: Tule Lake Relocation Center Location: Klamath Falls Basin, California
Coordinates: 41.89° N, 121.37° W Size of camp: 26,000 acres
Opening date: May 27, 1942 Peak population: 18,789
Date of peak: December 25, 1944 Closing date: March 20, 1946

Situated in Modoc County, California, close to the California-Oregon border, Tule Lake was the largest of the ten War Relocation Authority (WRA) camps. It served as both a WRA camp and as a “segregation center” for all those who were deemed “disloyals” following the 1943 loyalty questionnaire. With segregation, an additional 12,000 internees arrived at Tule Lake while roughly 6,500 “loyal” internees were sent to six of the other WRA camps to accommodate this influx. With the shift to Tule Lake as a “segregation center,” heightened security took the form of twenty-two additional guard towers and the presence of military police and armored tanks. As Tule Lake remained open for the duration of the Department of Justice administrative hearings, it was the last WRA camp to close.