Cow Creek (detention facility)


US Gov Name Cow Creek Camp
Facility Type Additional Facility
Administrative Agency War Relocation Authority
Location Cow Creek, California (36.5000 lat, -117.0000 lng)
Date Opened December 10, 1942
Date Closed February 15, 1943
Population Description Held forty men and their families from the Manzanar concentration camp.
General Description Located in the desert of California near the Death Valley National Monument, one of the hottest places on Earth. Summer temperatures stay well over 100 degrees. Death Valley encompasses the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere at 282 feet below sea level and is the driest place in North America with an average rainfall of only 1.96 inches a year.
Peak Population 150
Exit Destination Resettled outside camps
National Park Service Info

Located at a former Civilian Conservation Corps camp site near Death Valley, the Cow Creek facility held approximately forty inmates from Manzanar removed for their own protection after the Manzanar riot/uprising of December 1942. Among those held there were Togo Tanaka and Fred Tayama.

  • After the fatal riot at Manzanar, the War Relocation Authority (WRA) briefly held "pro-administration" individuals at Cow Creek before giving them leave from the camps. The men had been threatened by protestors who considered them to be informants.
  • Once when the supply truck from Manzanar was several days late, wild burro meat was served.