Historical Preservation


The Japanese Camp has survived by the very nature of its location. Remote and difficult to find it has eluded all but the most determined and curious individuals. However, as with all wood frame and stone structures, the wind, rain, snow and earthquakes all take their toll. Without regular maintenance the windows begin to leak, the siding comes loose, the roof loosens and blows off in pieces. With each successive rainfall the exposed wood swells and the nails pull out just a little farther.

Consider the tremendous snow loads that occur at this location and it is not surprising to know the camp is dangerously close to collapse. All of the buildings at the site show signs of heavy roof loads. Some have caved in but others such as the shower house and outhouse have completely fallen to the ground. The chicken coup was demolished by a fallen Joshua Tree. I do believe the main cabin will begin to fall to the ground within the next 10 years.

Most of the photos shown on this site were taken in 1982. The camp was still holding together and all of the buildings were still standing. The Pine trees were alive then but have since died. The large pine tree shown below was blown to the ground in a recent storm. It fell away from the cabin but the large lower branches did knock down a good portion of the living room.


The Elements

At an elevation of 5,000 ft the Japanese Camp is subject to heavy snowfalls of 2 feet or more. Weighing up to 20 lbs. per cubic foot, 12” of snow will add 6,000 lbs. of roof load on the main cabin.

One of the reasons I am pursuing the history and documenting the camp was a realization there will soon come a time when the camp was no longer standing. A pile of wood and stone flattened to the ground.

I do have some hope the main cabin will be saved. There are many people who travel the rough roads to find this interesting place. There is something that draws them here and no matter the outcome of my research it will always be a special place to go.

Many of the people involved in the history of this camp have now passed on and it is only the faint memories of the relatives and a few record books that keep these memories alive.

I am looking into the BLM Adopt-A-Cabin program and the possibility of creating a group to maintain the site in its current condition. There may be other avenues of preservation. I will be looking for them. Take a look at the Volunteer page, there are a number of things that you can do to help. Also, send me your email address if you would like to be notified of any updates.

Outhouse fallen to the ground

Main Cabin under threat of collapse