July 3-4 — Join Owens Valley author and historian Jane Wehrey at Manzanar National Historic Site on July 3 and 4 at 2 p.m., and July 5 at 11 a.m., as she introduces you, through historic photographs and first-person accounts, to three young women who once called Manzanar home. The lives of a Paiute daughter, a girl of the orchard community, and a young Japanese American internee of the relocation center are windows into the past of this multi-layered landscape, where communities of diverse peoples have come, lived, and departed over more than 150 years. Wehrey will take you back first to 1904, when many of the Owens Valley’s native people were still providing labor for the area’s white ranchers. Through Mary, a young Paiute woman, we can glimpse the two very different worlds of the white ranching families and traditional Paiute ways that she moved between.
These stories, says Wehrey, bring insights into how women lived in each of these eras. But their greater value, she believes, is in discovering how women of all ages helped shape and define Manzanar’s pasts through their work, family, and talents, and in their responses to the circumstances that brought them to this layered landscape in the first place.
Wehrey will be available at Manzanar after the program to answer questions and sign books. An Owens Valley native and current resident, with a background in oral history and history of the American West, she has worked as a consultant and part-time ranger with the National Park Service in the development of Manzanar National Historic Site. She is the author of “Voices From This Long Brown Land: Oral Recollections of Owens Valley Lives and “Manzanar Pasts” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), and “Manzanar,” a pictorial history (Arcadia Publishing, 2008). These and many other titles are available at www.manzanarstore.com.
This program is part of the “Celebration of Women of Eastern Sierra California,” a multi-venue project of exhibits, lectures, and programs that began in March 2010 and will conclude in September. For information about the series, go to www.eschinfo.org.
Manzanar National Historic Site Interpretive Center is located off Highway 395 between Lone Pine and Independence. For more information contact the Manzanar History Association business office at 760-878-2411 or visit www.manzanarstore.com.