Terminal Island Memorial
From the early 1900s until World War II, the fishing village of "Fish Harbor" on Terminal Island was a
thriving community of 3,000 people - primarily Japanese immigrants and their U.S.-born children. The local canneries and fishing boats played a vital role in the American fishing industry. In the village's neat rows of shops and homes people loved, laughed, worked, played and raised families. On February 25, 1942, all villagers of Japanese descent were given 48 hours to leave Terminal Island. By April the village was gone, homes and livelihoods taken away and villagers sent to internment camps.
- We remember these people, and the community of Terminal Island that was their home.
The story of Terminal Island is the story of a fishing village, and the Japanese Americans, young and old, who made it their home.
A pre-WWII aerial photo of Terminal Island and close-up photos of two fishermen working on their nets and four young female cannery workers.
The men fished with poles and nets. Tuna season kept everyone busy in the summer. On dark winter nights, sardines set the ocean aglow.
Along Tuna Street, the hardware stores, cafes and markets were the commercial heart of the village. [Photos: The Hashimoto Co. - The Mio Cafe - The A. Nakamura Grocery store]
For young girls, Girls' Day was a day to be celebrated, to dress in their kimonos, display their dolls and perform traditional folk dances.
On Boys' Day the symbolic carp flags were flown, and boys displayed their athletic prowess at the annual track meet.
[Un-captioned photos of boys and their carp flags on Boys' Day, plus adult fishermen and a fish monger with huge tuna hanging on the pier in Fish Harbor.]
Terminal Islanders both young and old found many ways to relax and have fun. The youth had bonfires on the beach, the men gathered at the harbor after returning from the sea, and families attended social gatherings at the church, temple, school, or Fishermen's Association Hall.
Terminal Islanders' Reunion - June 1980