Ansel Adams Pleasure Park Notecard
Pleasure Park, Manzanar War Relocation Center
Photo by Ansel Adams, 1943
Constructed in 1943, and renamed Merritt Park in 1944, the 1.5-acre community park contained small lakes, extensive plantings, bridges, and a teahouse. Internees and camp staff alike came here to enjoy solitude as well as companionship. Kuichiro Nishi, the park’s primary landscape designer, dedicated his work “To the memory of fellow Japanese Immigrants who, although ushered to this place with the breaking of friendly relations between two countries, have come to enjoy this quiet peaceful place.”
The park was excavated by National Park Service staff and volunteers in 2008. While the water that flowed through the pond and the plants that once graced the park are gone, the stones remain as a testament to beauty behind barbed wire.