Exclusion and Internment - Evacuation
On the morning of March 30, 1942, army trucks appeared at Island Nikkei homes to transport families to the Eagledale ferry dock where the Kehloken waited to take them to Seattle. Bainbridge High School allowed students to miss school to say "good–bye" to their friends; many younger students played "hooky" to see their friends off. Earl Hanson, a 1941 graduate, told one of the soldiers, "You're taking away some of our best friends. "Adults, as well as young people, came to wish their departing neighbors well. A frightened, well–behaved group of Americans, allowed to take only what they could carry, waited to begin a journey without knowing where they were going, nor how long they would be gone. In Seattle they would board a train. With curtains drawn, they rode through the night. On April 1, they transferred from the train to buses and traveled through the California desert. After a few hours, Kay Nakao looked out the window and saw a desolate piece of land with tarpaper–covered buildings. She told a woman sitting next to her, "I would hate to have to live there." Her heart sank when the buses turned into this compound that was the Manzanar Assembly Center (later the Manzanar Relocation Center.) There were a few Japanese bachelors already living there who were completing the construction of the camp. The Bainbridge Islanders were the first families to arrive. For weeks they had no sewer system and the facilities were very crude.