Wyoming April 15, 2020
Most People In Wyoming Don’t Know About Our Old World War II POW Camp
Way back in 1943, a massive POW Camp in Wyoming was constructed to hold those captured on the frontlines of the war in Europe. More than 180 buildings were constructed in the springtime in a big wartime effort. During World War II, more than 155 camps were built to house prisoners of war from Europe and Japan. Camp Douglas, the POW Camp in Wyoming, hosted prisoners from Italy and Germany.
Many Wyomingites don't know that the Cowboy State hosted hundreds of prisoners of war during World War II right here at Camp Douglas.
At one point, more than 500 army personnel were employed at the camp, which hosted Italian and Germans captured on the front lines.
After years of being closed to the public, a restoration effort has turned this historic site into a museum that you can visit.
This early photo of the Officers Club shows where those in charge of the camp spent their downtime.
Today, it's the only building that's still standing. The others have all been demolished after falling into disrepair.
When you step inside, you'll be transported back in time. The lives of those who worked here, as well as those they held captive, are on display.
During their time at Camp Douglas, many of the Italian prisoners painted elaborate murals in the Officers Club. They're preserved today and depict images of life in the American West.
The mural of Yellowstone is one of the most impressive - particularly considering the artists had likely never seen our national treasure.
This mural depicts immigrants passing Independence Rock on the Oregon Trail. One can only imagine how much the painters wished for that kind of freedom at the time.
Life was not easy at Camp Douglas for those who were imprisoned here, but thanks to the efforts of Wyoming historians, you can now take a look back at the struggles and challenges of those who worked, and those who lived, here at Camp Douglas.
For another fascinating glimpse into the past, read
12 Then And Now Photos In Wyoming That Show Just How Much It Has Changed. Address: 115 S Riverbend Dr, Douglas, WY 82633, USA