The interpretive center is OPEN every day
HOURS: 10:00am – 4:00pm
Learn about our National Historic Landmark site, our foundation’s mission, and our award-winning interpretive center.
Find details about the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center: hours, admission rates, special exhibits, and upcoming events.
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Support our mission to preserve the “Heart Mountain Relocation Center” site and to tell the story of those who were incarcerated here.
Join us for a virtual book talk with Shirley Ann Higuchi, Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation chair and author of the...
Join us for a virtual book talk with Shirley Ann Higuchi, Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation chair and author of the new memoir, Setsuko's Secret: Heart Mountain and the Legacy of Japanese American Incarceration. This event, the first in a series, will focus on the history and legacy of the Heart Mountain camp in the state of Wyoming. Shirley will be joined by special guest panelists Peter Simpson and Aura Newlin, who will discuss their own family connections to Heart Mountain.
Event timing: Saturday, September 26, 6:00pm MST
Setsuko's Secret: Heart Mountain and the Legacy of the Japanese American Incarceration Author Shirley Ann Higuchi, chair of the Heart...
Setsuko's Secret: Heart Mountain and the Legacy of the Japanese American Incarceration
Author Shirley Ann Higuchi, chair of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, uncovers her family's past and embarks on a transformational journey as she learns about the Japanese American incarceration during World War II and what happened to her family and those of other former incarcerees.
As children, Shirley Ann Higuchi and her brothers knew Heart Mountain only as the place their parents met, imagining it as a great Stardust Ballroom in rural Wyoming. As they grew older, they would come to recognize the name as a source of great sadness and shame for their older family members, part of the generation of Japanese Americans forced into the hastily built concentration camp in the aftermath of Executive Order 9066.
Only after a serious cancer diagnosis did Shirley's mother, Setsuko, share her vision for a museum at the site of the former camp, where she had been donating funds and volunteering in secret for many years. After Setsuko's death, Shirley skeptically accepted an invitation to visit the site, a journey that would forever change her life and introduce her to a part of her mother she never knew.
Navigating the complicated terrain of the Japanese American experience, Shirley patched together Setsuko's story and came to understand the forces and generational trauma that shaped her own life. Moving seamlessly between family and communal history, Setsuko's Secret offers a clear window into the "camp life" that was rarely revealed to the children of the incarcerated. This volume powerfully insists that we reckon with the pain in our collective American past.
Sign up for Setsuko's Secret Book Club
Buy the book from your favorite bookstore and read it...take a photo of yourself with your book and send it to us (we will ask for your permission to post on our social media). You'll receive a signed book plate and registration to join the virtual book meeting with Shirley on January 2, 2021 (Setsuko's birthday).
Attend a virtual book event
Check out the Setsuko's Secret website for more details.
Praise for Setsuko's Secret:
"As a former incarceree of Heart Mountain, reading this was tremendously gratifying. In this deeply researched and compellingly written history, Higuchi captures the tragedy and triumph of the Japanese American experience and incarceration."
Norman Mineta, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Transportation
"Only Shirley Ann Higuchi could tell so powerfully a story so needed to be told. This is the culmination of her vision and mission--to honestly share the deep passion of a proud family heritage forged in the saddest of times."
Alan Simpson, former U.S. Senator, Wyoming
Purchase Setsuko's Secret:
August 13, 2020 The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as...
August 13, 2020
The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of the CARES Act legislation passed to help relieve the financial strain of the COVID-19 pandemic. The $92,852 grant will help the Foundation to retain staff at Heart Mountain Interpretive Center and to expand its online presence through the digitization of artifacts and the development of new online programs.
NEH CARES grants are intended to support essential operations at cultural institutions across all 50 states. The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation will use the grant to digitize documents and artifacts from the archives and to develop new online programs, including digital field trips for schools that cannot travel to the museum and additional online content for general audiences. These new projects will help the Foundation to retain its staff at Heart Mountain Interpretive Center during the ongoing pandemic.
Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation executive director Dakota Russell said the award will replace lost revenues from the downturn in visitation to the center, and may even provide new opportunities. “Many small museums like ours are in danger right now,” Russell said. “This funding will be critical to us in keeping the doors open. Beyond that, though, I think it presents us with a chance to expand our online presence and reach new audiences nationwide.”
When the interpretive center closed for two months this spring, Russell and the staff quickly pivoted to producing online programs about the history of the camp. This grant will allow them to continue and expand that effort. Programs will be posted to the Foundation’s website, where past programs can also be viewed. New digital resources for educators will be posted to the website this fall.
A thank you and an important message about our online programming from executive director Dakota Russell. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18xa61N1f8M A Message from...
This week, registrar Brandon Daake explores the story of professional artists at Heart Mountain through pieces in the Foundation's collection....
This week, we'll be exploring the arts at Heart Mountain. Executive director Dakota Russell kicks things off with this program...
Join museum manager Cally Steussy on a guided tour of Heart Mountain Interpretive Center's exhibit on the redress movement and...
The camp's story has spurred contemporary artists to reflect on this history through their own music. In this special performance,...
Discover stories of young Japanese Americans who were uprooted from their communities and removed to live behind barbed wire during...
Discover stories of young Japanese Americans who were uprooted from their communities and removed to live behind barbed wire during World War II. Examine powerful stories of high school students living in these confinement sites through the lens of primary sources and how some of these students eventually served our country and even died in conflict.
Heart Mountain Interpretive Center staff collaborated with The National WWII Museum to produce this two-part student webinar. Check out the two episodes and then explore the From Barbed Wire to Battlefield web pages.
Health & Safety Protocols: The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation takes the safety of our members and visitors seriously. To that...
Health & Safety Protocols: The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation takes the safety of our members and visitors seriously. To that end, the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center will follow all the orders and recommendations made by state and local officials. We have instituted aggressive new cleaning procedures and changed some of the ways we operate to minimize the risk.
PLEASE WEAR A MASK
We request that visitors wear face masks and observe social distancing measures while in the interpretive center, for the health and safety of others. Masks are available for use, upon request.
- Please note: The interpretive center closes at 4:00pm every day.
- The hospital grounds, memorial and honor roll, and Setsuko Saito Higuchi Interpretive Trail remain open for self-guided exploration.
- All events and programs at the center have been canceled for the foreseeable future. We have been offering an array of digital programs and content. Click here to explore our online programming.
- We will continue to provide updates on future events throughout the next few months. For the latest information, follow Heart Mountain on Facebook and Twitter.
- The 2020 Heart Mountain Pilgrimage was canceled. In lieu of an-person pilgrimage, the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation collaborated with Japanese American Memorial Pilgrimages and other organizations to create a nine-week virtual pilgrimage. Check out the incredible array of discussions, talks, films, and programs from this summer of community events HERE. Please visit our Pilgrimage page for updates on the 2021 Heart Mountain Pilgrimage.
- Please refer to the COVID-19 page of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the latest updates on the pandemic and guidance on dealing with this physically, psychologically, and logistically.
Thank you for your patience and support as we navigate these uncertain times. If you have questions, please reach out to us. If you would like to support our work during this difficult period, please consider becoming a member or making a donation or a purchase from our online store.