Susan Monahan, Vice President of the Board of Directors at Kirkman House Museum
Most citizens associate the fairgrounds with family fun at much loved yearly events such as rodeos, crab feeds, and car shows. Yet during World War II it served as a Prisoner of War stockade populated with 650 German POWs. Walla Walla's POW camp was considered a branch of the Fort Lewis camp: a seasonal stockade and a response to a shortage of cannery workers. What was life like for a fairgrounds POW? What interaction did they have with Walla Walla citizens? How did their residence there alter the Pavilion? Using newspaper articles from the times and personal accounts of those connected to the camp and canneries we can reconstruct this interesting aspect of Walla Walla World War II history.