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Significant Milestones of the Topaz Museum

Restored Recreation Hall at TopazThe restored recreation hall was dedicated on May 27, 1995.

1974 – Topaz was listed on the National Register of Historic Places an official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation.

1995 – A recreation hall used as the Boy Scout meeting place was restored in order to depict the living conditions of the internees. Soon after this project the Topaz Museum became a non-profit organization.

1998 - 2000 copies of “The Price of Prejudice” by Leonard J. Arrington were donated to schools and libraries in Utah and the San Francisco Bay Area. To read the book go to the digital library.

1998 – The Topaz Museum co-sponsored Utah’s first Day of Remembrance to encourage reflection and better understanding of the internment of Japanese Americans. The event marks the signing of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, paving the way for internment.

1999 – The Topaz Museum Board began buying the Topaz site in order to preserve its history. The Board now owns 626 acres of the original 640 acres of the camp. It is the most intact of the ten camps, meaning it looks very much as it did in 1947-1949 when the buildings, guard towers, utility poles, water tower and water pipes were removed from the site.

1999 – The site was named a Save America’s Treasures project by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. With funding from that project, the TMB had a preliminary archeology survey done of the 415 acres they owned at that time.

2000 – The Board began a digital collection of photographs, the Topaz Times, Trek magazine, yearbooks and the Final Accountability Report that lists all the names of the Topaz internees. This was done in partnership with the Utah State University and the University of Utah libraries. (See Digital Collection)

2005 – The Board purchased land on Main Street in Delta, Utah where the Topaz Museum would be located.

2007 – The National Park Service named the site a National Historic Landmark, the thirteenth in the state of Utah. Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. was the featured speaker at the ceremony.

2008 – The Topaz Museum Board hired the firm Shah Kawasaki Architects to design the new Topaz Museum.

2009 – The TMB hired West Office Exhibit Design to design the exhibit space of the Topaz Museum and partnered with the University of Utah’s Department of Science’s Telescope Array Project in Delta.

2010 – Densho did video interviews of former internees.

2011 – The Topaz Museum Board now possesses 87 paintings done at the Topaz Art School, including works by Chiura Obata, Mine’ Okubo, Charles Mikami, George Matsusaburo Hibi, and others.

2012 -- The Topaz Museum Board received a grant from the National Park Service Japanese American Confinement Sites grant for $714,000. The Board has raised additional money to construct the Museum and install exhibits. You can donate and be a part of this important project.

2014 -- The building for the Topaz Museum was constructed in 2013 and is now awaiting the installation of the exhihits.  In June 2014, the Topaz Museum Board received a grant from the Japanese American Confinement Sites division of the National Park Service to complete the museum. The museum opened in January 2015 with an artshow of work done at Topaz. Watch for the formal announcment of when the museum will open with its permanent exhibits.