Watercolor artist Estelle Peck Ishigo (1899-1990) was interned with her Japanese American husband Arthur Ishigo at Heart Mountain. After the Pearl Harbor attack, both she and her husband lost their jobs. Arthur was ordered to be interned and Estelle followed him although she was Caucasian and not forced to do so. Her papers contain photographs and sketches she created during her time at Heart Mountain.
Additional content for this collection can be found in the "Inventory for Collection."
Estelle Peck and Arthur Ishigo, ca. 1928
Estelle married San Francisco Nisei Arthur Ishigo in 1928. They married in Mexico to avoid American anti-miscegenation laws.
Arthur Ishigo shoveling coal at Heart Mountain Relocation Center, ca. 1944
Arthur worked in a boiler room that provided hot water for a block of barracks.
Estelle Ishigo at Heart Mountain Relocation Center, 1944
Estelle shown near a barracks building.
Estelle Ishigo outside her trailer home after release from Heart Mountain Relocation Center, ca. 1945
After the war and their release from internment, Arthur and Estelle lived in poverty for many years. Arthur died in 1957.
Sketch by Estelle Ishigo of Heart Mountain Relocation Center internees braving a snowstorm, ca. 1944
Internees braved the elements to travel between buildings during their everyday life.
Sketch by Estelle Ishigo of rationing coal for apartment stoves at Heart Mountain Relocation Center, ca. 1944
It took about four train car loads of coal a day to provide heat for internees during the cold winter months.
Sketch by Estelle Ishigo of family life in Heart Mountain Relocation Center barracks apartment, ca. 1944
Families lived in apartments within tarpapered barracks. The largest apartments were simply single rooms measuring 24 feet by 20 feet.
Sketch by Estelle Ishigo of men's washroom at Heart Mountain Relocation Center, ca. 1944
Men's and women's washrooms offered little if any privacy.
Sketch by Estelle Ishigo of young male internees playing baseball, ca. 1944
Internees did what they could to make their situation liveable such as sports, clubs, and events.
Sketch by Estelle Ishigo titled "We Are America, Again?"
Executive Order 9066 was rescinded in December 1944. Internees were released, often to resettlement facilities and temporary housing. Interned Japanese-Americans had not only lost their personal liberties, many also lost their homes, businesses, property, and savings.