Loading

The interpretive center is open Wednesday – Saturday

HOURS: 10:00am – 4:00pm

Masks are required when visiting the interpretive center, in accordance with the Park County mask mandate. Masks are available upon request.


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.

Become a member of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation today to receive our magazine, free admission, and other benefits.

Support our mission to preserve the “Heart Mountain Relocation Center” site and to tell the story of those who were incarcerated here.

2021 Teacher Workshops

Application deadline: March 1st. Apply here The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation invites teachers of grades 5-12 from around the country...

The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation invites teachers of grades 5-12 from around the country to spend a week of summer 2021 learning about the Japanese American incarceration online. Beginning with the stories of the first immigrants from Japan, the workshop will take participants through the Pearl Harbor attack and wartime hysteria that followed, to the incarceration, and eventually to the apology and redress payments by the federal government in 1988. Teachers will be guided in developing dynamic lessons using primary and secondary source materials such as digitized artifacts, oral histories, and newspapers.

This National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Landmarks of American History and Culture workshop will be offered twice: June 21-25 and July 19-23, 2021. Participants will have the opportunity to experience and engage with the local culture. Participants of both sessions can also participate in the annual pilgrimage of former World War II incarcerees and their family members to the Heart Mountain confinement site which will also be virtual. Please indicate your preference and availability on your application due March 1, 2021. Applicants will be notified of acceptance status on March 26, 2021. Successful applicants will have until April 2, 2021 to accept or decline.

Some of our sessions will be broadcast live from the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center; the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation is the institutional host. The workshop will also work with two local museums: the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody and the Homesteader Museum in Powell.

Setsuko’s Secret & The Eagles of Heart Mountain

Take part in this insightful conversation with two authors of new books about Heart Mountain. Shirley Ann Higuchi’s Setsuko’s Secret blends the...

Take part in this insightful conversation with two authors of new books about Heart Mountain. Shirley Ann Higuchi’s Setsuko’s Secret blends the history of Japanese American incarceration with personal memoir, illustrating how the impact of these events rippled out to future generations. Bradford Pearson’s The Eagles of Heart Mountain looks at the incarceration from a truly unique perspective, through the eyes of the teenage players on the camp’s high school football team. In this program, Higuchi and Pearson will discuss what inspired them to research and write their books, and share some of the stories they learned along the way. Both books are available for purchase now at our shop website.

Heart Mountain Holiday Special

Happy holidays to our Heart Mountain family! In this special seasonal program, enjoy a New Year's haiku recital from Museum Manager...

Happy holidays to our Heart Mountain family! In this special seasonal program, enjoy a New Year's haiku recital from Museum Manager Cally Steussy, a video essay on Camp Santa by Executive Director Dakota Russell, and holiday greetings from members of the Heart Mountain leadership.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xr2pWlFsQPk
Heart Mountain Holiday Special

Images Courtesy of the National Archives; George & Frank Hirahara Collection, Washington State University; Jack Richard Collection, Buffalo Bill Center of the West; the Nishiura Family; and Estelle Ishigo Collection, UCLA Libraries.

Sparking Stories: A Conversation with Shirley Ann Higuchi & Tamlyn Tomita

Saturday, January 9, 2021  2:00 PM—3:30 PM Pacific Time FREE Setsuko’s Secret: Heart Mountain and the Legacy of the Japanese American Incarceration by...

Saturday, January 9, 2021 

2:00 PM—3:30 PM Pacific Time

FREE

Setsuko’s Secret: Heart Mountain and the Legacy of the Japanese American Incarceration by Shirley Ann Higuchi blends personal and political histories into a powerful and inspirational narrative. Join author Shirley Ann Higuchi in a conversation and Q&A with actress Tamlyn Tomita, moderated by filmmaker and news anchor David Ono.

As children, Shirley Ann Higuchi and her brothers knew Heart Mountain only as the place their parents met. As they grew older, they would come to recognize the name as a source of great sadness and shame for the generation of Japanese Americans forced into the hastily built concentration camp during WWII. 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.

"Poignant. How the power of an untold secret can affect how one lives and, with its revelation, can spark others to tell their own. With a good story, we can change ourselves, our country, our world for the better. Setsuko's Secret is one of the good stories."

Tamlyn Tomita

Shop the JANM store!

Setsuko’s Secret by Shirley Higuchi
The Legacy of Heart Mountain produced by David Ono

You will be emailed links and instructions to join the conversation on Zoom. Contact publicprograms@janm.org if you have any additional questions or specific access concerns.

Voting at Heart Mountain

Learn about the history of voting at Heart Mountain! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_aD8AvW43Q Voting at Heart Mountain

Learn about the history of voting at Heart Mountain!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_aD8AvW43Q
Voting at Heart Mountain

NEW BOOK: Setsuko’s Secret

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1if20d_ll8
Book Trailer: Setsuko's Secret

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:

Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation Receives NEH CARES Act Grant

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 Message from the Executive Director

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...

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 the Executive Director

Dusted Off: The Art Students League of Heart Mountain

This week, registrar Brandon Daake explores the story of professional artists at Heart Mountain through pieces in the Foundation's collection....

This week, registrar Brandon Daake explores the story of professional artists at Heart Mountain through pieces in the Foundation's collection.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_vil79ChFs
Dusted Off LIVE: The Art Students League of Heart Mountain

Arthur & Estelle: A Heart Mountain Love Story

This week, we'll be exploring the arts at Heart Mountain. Executive director Dakota Russell kicks things off with this program...

This week, we'll be exploring the arts at Heart Mountain. Executive director Dakota Russell kicks things off with this program about artist Estelle Ishigo and her husband Arthur.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8V4kNU9u0N0
Arthur & Estelle: A Heart Mountain Love Story

Onsite Tour: Redress Exhibit

Join museum manager Cally Steussy on a guided tour of Heart Mountain Interpretive Center's exhibit on the redress movement and...

Join museum manager Cally Steussy on a guided tour of Heart Mountain Interpretive Center's exhibit on the redress movement and the legacy of incarceration.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWOvfAQADW8
Onsite Tour: Redress Exhibit

No-No Boy: Heart Mountain Songs

The camp's story has spurred contemporary artists to reflect on this history through their own music. In this special performance,...

The camp's story has spurred contemporary artists to reflect on this history through their own music. In this special performance, Julian Saporiti of the No-No Boy project shares two original songs inspired by Heart Mountain.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PED7PYUjRCo
No-No Boy: Heart Mountain Songs

From Barbed Wire to Battlefield

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.

Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation Coronavirus Response

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

Park County officials have issued a mask mandate for our area of the state. In accordance with this, all visitors must wear face masks and observe social distancing measures while in the interpretive center, for the health and safety of themselves and 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.

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.

Subscribe to our Mailing List

* indicates required
Interests

Join us for an array of special events at the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center and around Cody & Powell, Wyoming!

©2013-2020 Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation