We recently had the opportunity to visit one of the locales of the dreaded FEMA camps on a visit to the hill country near Trinidad, Colorado. According to numerous internet sites devoted to the exposure and subsequent cataloging of the hundred of such camps arrayed across the country, Colorado has, alternately, two or three FEMA camp locations, the most obvious being the Fort Carson military base on Highway 151 near Canon City. The two others are at Granada in Prowers County on the eastern plains near the Kansas border and the old Trinidad Camp apparently once used to hold German and Italian prisoners from 1943-46. Being in the area, it was the latter which attracted our attention. And so taking a break from milking goats at a ranch west of the city and fortified with the GPS co-ordinates of the former Trinidad Camp after a visit to GoogleMaps we took one of our infrequent trips down the hill to see with our own eyes one of these much vaunted detention camps. We had already seen the Google street view of the location which appeared to be nothing more than a vacant lot traversed by a wide ditch and indeed this turned out to be the case. As it turned out, other than a small brick outbuilding of some sort, there was nothing to support the claim that the former Trinidad Camp internment facility was in the process of renovation into a FEMA camp. Indeed what presented itself to our sight was just an otherwise empty patch of land devoid of any structure save the aforementioned brick structure.
The direct implications of our discovery lead to questions as to the reality of the hundreds of other named FEMA locations scattered throughout the country. While the existence of some of the more high profile locales such as the infamous Beech Grove camp outside of Marion, Indiana are indisputable, the possibility exists that many other named locations might be little more than dirt and weeds as we found in Trinidad. In addition it was no surprise that this insignificant post immediately attracted the attention of the Department of Homeland Security in two successive visits to this site. We at Kushmonster are proud of our efforts at keeping America strong!
After a conversation with Misu at the Trinidad State Historical Museum it was discovered that there was indeed a German-Italian internment camp called Camp Trinidad still extant and yet whose location was undetermined. Yet according to accounts in a book available on the subject, "Prisoners of War at Camp Trinidad, Colorado 1943-1946" by Kurt Landsberger, it was ascertained that the camp was well outside the borders of the Trinidad municipality. Some further conversations with some locals produced one account of an actual visit to the facility which recounted the existence of a large complex of derelict buildings which were in no obvious state of renovation or rehabilitation. After a bit of research into the matter we discovered the location of the German-Italian camp some few miles east of Trinidad near Beshoar Junction. Alas our attempts to actually view the premises were unsuccessful largely due to the remoteness of the location and its relative inaccessibility. We attempted to hike over some open range leading up to the plateau upon which the camp rests, but the presence of a large and ominous looking residence which obviously overlooks the location deterred us from proceeding. The area is circumambulated by a road which leads back to Trinidad from Beshoar Junction and approaching Trinidad on the west side of the camp there is a gate flanked by brick pillars and a road which leads up to the residence in question. What really exists out there at present remains a matter of speculation, but on the road out of Trinidad at a ramshackle gate which allows the only other entrance to the camp, a weathered sign warns that only "authorized personnel" are allowed entry. This, along with the Department of Homeland Security's interest in our posting and the erroneous or at least misleading coordinates provided by Google for the location of the FEMA camp raises further suspicions concerning the nature and purpose of the former German-Italian detention facility.