In 1942, Japanese were not allowed to have cameras, they had to turn them in to the government. So I suppose it should be no surprise that relatively few photos of my aunt’s life in Utah exist. I know what her street address was, and I know where she worked, but I’ve never seen photos of that time, nor have I ever seen photos of Salt Lake’s Japantown. Then I stumbled upon a Utah gov website that talked about photos taken for tax purposes from the 1940s, and how the photos were available to researchers to view. Further searching found a single photo of the Beason Bldg, where my aunt worked. It wasn’t of her office, but it was of one corner of the building, so I know that other photos exist.
Along the same lines, the JW Marriott library in Salt Lake has a series of maps online called Sanborn Maps, which were created for insurance purposes in the early half of the 1900s. I was able to find a detailed map of Japantown, so with my old addresses, I’ve “recreated” Salt Lake’s Japantown as it would have been when my aunt lived there.
Very exciting stuff!