On February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the creation of the War Relocation Authority. Camp Amache was on of ten relocation camps built to house Japanese American evacuees. Construction began in July/August and evacuees began to arrive right away, and by October of 1942 there were a total of 6785 evacuees at the camp. The peak population was 7318 in February of 1943 making it the 10th largest city in Colorado at that time.
In 2003 a State Historical Fund grant was awarded to the Town of Granada to survey the site and create a historical site management plan. The survey revealed many left-behind details that tell us about life at Amache. As a way of bringing aspects of Japanese American culture to the camp, internees constructed a variety of landscape features, such as ornamental gardens, complete with koi ponds in some cases. One pond was excavated by high school students from the nearby town of Granada under the supervision of history teacher John Hopper. The camp trash dump was found to contain thousands of one-gallon tin cans that were likely soy sauce as well as a number of one-gallon jugs of sake. Officially, the sake was not supposed to be at the camp, but according to folklore a local Granada merchant kept a good supply moving through the back door of his establishment.
While most of the buildings are now gone, and those that are left are scattered across the plains of Colorado, Camp Amache still retains much of the sense of place it possessed when so many thousands of American citizens were imprisoned there. Internee Henry H. Okubo years later would say that at Camp Amache “there was the feeling of a fine line between hope and despair”.