Historic California Posts, Camps Stations and Airfields
Marysville Assembly Center
(Arboga Assembly Center)
Marysville Assembly Center, 1942

National Park Service History (2000)

The Marysville Assembly Center was located at a migrant workers' camp about 8 miles south of Marysville. It was also known as the Arboga Assembly Center after the nearby small community of the same name. Occupied from May 8 to June 29, the assembly center housed a total of 2,465 evacuees (2,451 maximum at a time) from Placer and Sacramento counties. In July, soldiers occupied the center (Marysville Appeal-Democrat 7/16/1942).

Construction was begun March 27 and the center was considered ready for occupancy by April 16. However, the arrival of the evacuees was delayed: late rains had left pools of water and rough roads necessitating further grading and filling. The assembly center had 160 buildings, including 100 barracks, five dining halls, and two infirmary buildings. There were 15 fire hydrants and the military police had their own barracks and headquarters just outside the entrance (Marysville Appeal-Democrat 5/4/1942).

Today the assembly center site lies south of Broadway one-quarter mile east of Feather River Boulevard, northwest of the Lake Golf and County Club. The area is now privately owned farm fields and residences and there is no historical marker at the site. The assembly center site itself lies on two properties, with two separate owners.

Most of the assembly center site is encompassed in the northern parcel along Broadway. On that property there is a single house and associated sheds, none of which appear to be from the World War II era. There is also a silted-over 25- by 30-foot slab of uncertain age and some scattered pipe and concrete in the field area, and exposed pipes and concrete rubble along the bank of Clark Slough on the western edge of the site. Frank Makamura of Marysville, who had been interned at the assembly center, indicated that the Japanese American Citizen's League had an interest in placing a plaque on the property but had been unable to get agreement from the owner. The property owner has since passed away, and at the time of this report, the property was for sale.

The 1942 aerial photograph indicates that barracks and other buildings were also located on the second parcel, located to the south. According to that property owner, old water pipes were dug up when he recently built his house (Nathan Mayo, Personal Communication, 1996). Also on the southern property there are small trash scatters likely related to the assembly center. These include a small area adjacent to the slough with about 250 small fragments of white and buff hotel ware ceramics, some of which have the U.S.Q.M.C. base mark indicating army-issue. In the dry slough bank just west of the ceramics were noted 30 sanitary seal cans, a rubber boot sole, over 20 amber and clear glass fragments, and a few white glass fragments. Additional trash may be buried and the area may have been the assembly center dump.


US Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District History (1991)

In 1942, the U.S. Government acquired 120.00 lease acres from Reclamation District 784 and 40.00 lease acres from the State of California. It was used by the U.S. Army as a Japanese Reception (Relocation) Center and was originally constructed as an emergency

The improvements were an administration building, 126 barracks, 7 mess halls, 15 warehouses, an isolation ward, 2 hospitals, 20 latrines, 3 laundry facilities, 14 bath houses, a pumphouse, 8 watch towers, an ammunition hobse, a guard house, and a reception hall. The site housed two groups of Japanese internees betwkn May and July of 1942. These internees were housed only temporarily on their way to the Tule Lake Relocation Center.

In 1947, the lease for 160.00 acres was terminated. Records indicate that some of the improvements were transferred to Camp Beale. Records do not indicate how he improvements were divided or the disposition of the remaining improvements. Since Army usage was terminated, the site has been used as pasture and as a crop dusting air strip and station. At present, approximately one-fifth of the site is residential acreage.

Note: This site does not appear in any available Army Station List


Extract, War Department Inventory of Owned, Sponsored and Leased Facilities, 1945

Japanese Assembly Center



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Updated 8 April 2016