Independence is a small picturesque village that can be found east of the Sierra Nevada in California is an interesting place to stop, stretch your legs and enjoy the landscape on U.S. Route 395 midway between the Tioga exit of Yosemite National Park and Death Valley west entrance. The village consists of 200 houses, that seems stuck in a time warp in the forties, with some places worthy of a horror film and others of Middle America. Some houses starred in Hollywood films such as "Do not lose the trial (Trial and Error) with Charlize Theron "or some scenes of" 60 Seconds of Nicolas Cage ". History can be traced back the American colonists time, in 1861 a post office was established, a year after Fort Independence, which was closed in 1964 to end hostilities with the natives of those lands. The village is a small piece of American history and it's well worth stopping to take a rest here.
I wasn't even aware that the Mazanar National Historic Site existed until I was only a few miles away from it. While this is partly explained by the fact that it's relatively new. It is still unfortunate in that far too little attention has been given to the tragic and embarrassing internment of approximately 110,000 Japanese American citizens during World War II.
This historic site is located on the ruins of what was one large internment camp that held 10,000 people, a city larger than all the small towns that dot this área. While the vast desert has largely reclaimed the cite, two barracks have been rebuilt and a fine museum fill the main building.
It would feel inappropriate to say too much here, but the museum is a great educational experience for anyone. The highlight of my visit was getting to meet a volunteer who, as a child, had actually been interred at the camp. It's not an experience I will ever forget.