Topaz Museum Mission Statement

“To preserve the Topaz site and its World War II history; to interpret the impact of Topaz on the incarcerees, their families, and the citizens of Millard County; and to educate the public in order to prevent a recurrence of a similar denial of American civil rights. As part of our mission, we steward 634 acres of the one-square mile of the original Topaz site. In 2017, the Museum Board opened the Topaz Museum in Delta, Utah, to share the stories of Topaz’s history with all Americans, for generations to come.”

Our History


Topaz listed on National Register of Historic Places


Japanese American Citizen League chapters from Salt Lake City erect a monument at Topaz.


The Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians established by Congress.


Delta High Journalism classes, led by teacher Jane Beckwith, investigate connections between Topaz and Delta by interviewing Deltans who had worked at the site. The students enter the Utah History Fair and win the right to compete at the National History Fair held in Washington, D.C.


U.S. President Ronald Reagan signs the Civil Liberties Act authorizing redress, and later President George H.W. Bush issues a formal apology and reparations of $20,000 to those who are still alive.


Eldro Jeffrey family of Delta donates half of an original Topaz recreation hall that they had purchased after Topaz closed in 1945. The building was used at Topaz as the Boy Scout lodge and on the family farm as a storage shed.


50th year Topaz Reunion and Pilgrimage is held in Delta.


Topaz Museum Board begins plans to purchase and preserve 640 acres of the incarceration site.


An ad hoc committee, now known as the Topaz Museum Board, forms to restore the recreation hall to its original wartime condition. A gratifying response of donations allows work to begin on preserving and restoring the recreation hall, used as the Boy Scout lodge on Block 42 at Topaz.


Restored recreation hall is dedicated during a ceremony that includes former Topaz internees, former Topaz administrative employees, and local Delta residents


Topaz Museum is designated a charitable, 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation.


Board purchases 417 acres of the total 640 acres of the residential area of the Topaz site.


Billed as “Ties that Bind,” the Topaz Pilgrimage, features a 16-mile bike ride to the site.


Board purchases various pieces of the Topaz site.


Topaz is designated a National Historic Landmark.


Museum Board breaks ground for the construction of the museum.


Museum building completed


Inaugural Topaz Museum exhibition “When Words Weren’t Enough: Works on Paper from Topaz, 1942-1945” opens, showcasing the artists of the Topaz Art School.


Over 500 people attend the Topaz Museum Official Grand Opening


The Topaz Museum closes due to the Covid pandemic.


Wakasa Memorial Stone moved to the Topaz Museum grounds for its protection.


Utah Governor Spencer Cox signs S.B. 58, designating February 19th as an annual Day of Remembrance, observing the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.


Commemorative ceremonies and programs held in collaboration with the Wakasa Memorial Committee at the Salt Lake City Buddhist Temple and Topaz Museum and historic site to honor and remember the unjust death of Mr. James Hatsuaki Wakasa.

Board of Directors

Scott Bassett
Jane Beckwith
Kiley Chase
Ann Dion
Lorelei Draper
Dianne Fukami
Dean Hirabayashi
Chris Hirano
Richard Hirayama
Joy Iwasa
Barbara Hedani-Morishita
Hoggan Nelson
Roger Roper
Hisashi Bill Sugaya
Patricia Wakida
Kenzie Hirai, ex-officio
Kay Yatabe, ex-officio

Our gratitude to our former Board Members
Dr. Leonard Arrington
Lance Atkinson
Sherrie Hayashi
Ned Isokawa
Steve Koga
Chuck Kubokawa
Charlotte Morrison
Ted Nagata
Rick Okabe
Grace Oshita
Merrie Jo Smith
Susan Stefanoff
Dave Tatsuno
Teresa Thompson

Museum Docents

Our docents are deeply important to the Topaz Museum, offering personal tours, assisting visitors with family research, and hosting special events for organized groups, school classes, and individuals. The Board is especially grateful to our team of docents who are all Delta area residents.

Topaz Museum exterior

Photo: Brian Buroker

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