Japanese American and friend digging for shells

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ddr-densho-2-60 (Legacy UID: denshopd-p2-00060)

Bain Collection

Jimmie Yorita (right) digs for shells used by people in camp to make jewelry. His sister, Patsy (left), and Neal Frost, son of one of the camp's teachers, sift the dirt. Tule Lake was drained in the early 1900s. The camp was located on the old lake bed, where camp inmates found shells for making jewelry to sell to camp personnel. Shells were scarce, and digging became competitive. To beat the rush, some Japanese Americans got up at sunrise and dug waist-deep holes in order to find the shells. Some had homemade wire sieves for sifting the sand.


Still Image


Courtesy of the Bain Family Collection

Copyright restricted
Copyright restricted