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King Street Station (#23)

As tensions heightened leading up to WWII, Japanese American porters working at King Street Station were replaced by Filipino Americans who wore large “Filipino” identification buttons. Japanese community leaders – rounded up and detained immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 – left by train at King Street Station for imprisonment by the U.S. On March 20, 1942, family and friends gathered to see 150 men leave for Fort Missoula in Montana.

Be sure to take a look at the lower level tracks to get a sense of the grit and grime of boarding a train towards imprisonment without trial, for an undetermined time, to a future unknown.

Images

Themes of betrayal, brokenness and loss permeate this watercolor by artist Tramy Nguyen.

By artist Tramy Nguyen. YouthCAN, Wing Luke Museum.

A letter writer protested the employment of “Japanese red caps” at Seattle’s train stations, saying that they should not know the schedule of the incoming and outgoing trains because he believed them to be disloyal. Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1942.

Wing Luke Museum Collection.

View down King Street, looking west from Maynard Alley, shows the King Street Station clock tower in the distance.

Wing Luke Museum Collection.