Ronald J. Beckwith

Ronald Beckwith has been an archeologist with the National Park Service since 1989. Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, he received his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Arizona in 1981. He worked for the Arizona State Museum in Tucson, Arizona, for nine years before joining the Park Service. In addition to his work at the Manzanar Relocation Center, Ron has also worked at the Minidoka and Poston Relocation Centers, and plans on participating in a project at Honouliuli, Hawaii, this winter.

Updated January 2008

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Landscape Gardens and Gardeners at Manzanar Relocation Center

Manzanar Relocation Center, in Owen’s Valley, California, is unique among relocation centers for the number of community gardens that were designed and built by the internees during their incarceration. Most of the community gardens were built adjacent to residence block mess halls (hence their popular name: mess hall gardens) to help people pass the time as they waited in line to be fed. Over the past 14 years, the National Park Service has been clearing these gardens of debris and making them accessible to the public.

To date, five gardens have been cleared, and are the most prominent features ...

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