Tule Lake National Monument offers extraordinary experiences, but it is not always possible to get to the monument in person. Fortunately we have ways to connect from a distance through digital media.
The Jail at the Tule Lake Segregation CenterThe jail is unique to the WWII Japanese American incarceration history because Tule Lake was the only one of the ten War Relocation Authority camps to become a maximum-security facility with three separate detention facilities-including the jail. This building was in use from late 1944 until the closure of the Tule Lake Segregation Center in March 1946. This concrete jail was used to administratively detain dissident leaders before moving them to Department of Justice camps.
The building sat vacant for years and deteriorated as a result of aging and weathering. California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) recognized the historic significance of the jail, and constructed a shelter to protect the building from the elements when it was under their jurisdiction. CalTrans transferred the jail to the National Park Service (NPS) with the designation of the Tule Lake Unit as an NPS unit in 2008.
The National Park Service recognizes the hard work that the non-profit Tule Lake Committee does to help with the preservation efforts of this new national park. In 2013, the Tule Lake Committee received a grant from the National Park Service's Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program for the second of three phases of the restoration. The Tule Lake Committee contracted with the Architectural Resources Group, Inc. to create schematic design alternatives. In April 2014, work began on the project. The donation of the jail bars and cots by local farmer Bill Osborne to the NPS in 2012 was critical to the restoration. The bars were removed from the jail in 1946 after the facility closed. The Osborne family protected them and wanted them to be part of the preservation of Tule Lake.
Last updated: July 30, 2021