Santa Cruz County History - Executive Order 9066 and the Residents of Santa Cruz County

Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. Sept. 8, 1945. p. 1


Hostel accommodations for servicemen and ex-servicemen and women of Japanese ancestry and their families will be made available through arrangements completed this week between the Presbyterian Home Missions board and the War Relocation authority for joint sponsorship of Gilroy Hot Springs, owned by Frank Sakata, formerly of the Pajaro valley and now of Oregon. The hostel will be taken over Sept. 15.

Servicemen, ex-servicemen and other families confronted with the early closing of relocation centers will be given preference in all cases, according to Fred Rhodes, local WRA officer. They and their families will be provided temporary housing at cost until they can find permanent homes. At the outset, 150 beds will be available, with WRA furnishing equipment, and accommodations will be increased by the sponsors as required.

The hostel will be available to Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito and Santa Clara county Japanese. Gordon K. Chapman of San Francisco represented the Presbyterian Home Missions in the transaction; Rhodes and James E. Edmiston, San Jose WRA officer, represented the WRA.

Manager of the hostel will be Captain Masuo Kitaji of the Salvation Army, Japanese, who will be assisted by two Caucasians.

Sakata, shortly after the evacuation, leased the resort to M. A. Travers, local man, who has operated it since then and who will return here Sept. 15.

In a statement, the WRA said: "Acquisition of the property is made possible by the generosity of Frank Sakata, long time head of the Watsonville Japanese colony. Shortly after Pearl Harbor, Sakata offered to donate the $50,000 property to the United States army as a rehabilitation center for wounded servicemen. The army declined the gift on the grounds that its capacity was limited by nature of the mountain terrain. Sakata then leased the property to its present operator. Sakata is now financing the conversion costs."

Copyrighted by the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian. Reproduced by permission.