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Kooskia Internment Camp

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. In observance, University of Idaho Library Special Collections and Archives shares photos from its photography collection featuring a hand-made scrapbook documenting some aspects of life in the Kooskia, Idaho Internment Camp where Japanese American men were forced to live during World War II between the years 1943-1945. The Kooskia camp was unique in that its inmates volunteered to transfer there from other camps and received wages for their work.

Men with shovels near Kooskia, 1943-1944
machinery repair at Kooskia, 1943-1944
hammer and anvil during metal processing at Kooskia, 1943-1944

A total of some 265 detainees occupied the Kooskia Internment Camp at various times between May 1943 and May 1945. Although some internees held camp jobs, most worked construction on a portion of the Lewis and Clark Highway (now US 12) between Lewiston, Idaho,and Missoula, Montana.


The entire Kooskia Internment Camp Scrapbook has been digitized and is available for viewing through the UI Library’s Digital Initiatives. More on Japanese internment during World War II can be found in an online exhibit at the National Archives.

Information on the Kooskia Internment Camp from Digital Initiatives display which was adapted from Dr. Priscilla Wegars Asian American Comparative Collection website.

PG 103-34b, PG 103-44a, PG 103-45c

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