Stockton (detention facility)

US Gov Name Stockton Assembly Center, California
Facility Type Temporary Assembly Center
Administrative Agency Wartime Civil Control Administration
Location Stockton, California (37.9500 lat, -121.2833 lng)
Date Opened May 10, 1942
Date Closed October 17, 1942
Population Description Held people from San Joaquin County, California.
General Description Located at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds in Stockton, California.
Peak Population 4,271 (1942-05-21)
National Park Service Info

The Stockton Assembly Center was one of fifteen temporary detention centers (euphemistically called " assembly centers ") administered by the Wartime Civil Control Administration . Most Japanese Americans forcibly removed from the West Coast were sent to one of these centers during the spring and summer of 1942 while the more permanent concentration camps were being prepared.


The Stockton Assembly Center was built at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds site, just a few blocks southeast of the Stockton city center. The detention facility was populated from May 10 to October 17, a total of 160 days. The site included 125 barracks in the racetrack infield, along with forty more east of the fairgrounds.


The population of the Stockton Assembly Center came almost mostly from the surrounding San Joaquin County area. The total population was 4,390, with a maximum of 4,271.

Upon the closing of the camp, nearly all of the inmates were transferred to the Rohwer , Arkansas camp for long-term confinement, with a handful being sent to Gila River , Arizona.

Camp Life

• The El Joaquin newspaper ran from May 30 to September 28. [1]


The Stockton Assembly Center was one of the twelve California temporary detention centers to share California Historical Landmark #934, so named in 1980.

In 1984, a historic marker was erected at the entrance gate to the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds.

For More Information

Burton, Jeffery F., Mary M. Farrell, Florence B. Lord, and Richard W. Lord. Confinement and Ethnicity: An Overview of World War II Japanese American Relocation Sites . Western Archeological and Conservation Center, National Park Service, 1999, 2000. Foreword by Tetsuden Kashima. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2002. The Stockton section of 2000 version accessible online at .

The Historical Marker Database. " Stockton Assembly Center ."


  1. "Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers," Library of Congress. .

Last updated July 14, 2015, 9:28 p.m..