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Camp Douglas site’s staff to present prisoners of war history

The Wyoming State Archives and the Wyoming State Parks will have a presentation at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 about the prisoners of war who were at Camp Douglas during World War II.

Jenna Thorburn, superintendent and curator at Camp Douglas Officers' Club State Historic Site. (Jenna Thorburn)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — The Wyoming State Archives and the Wyoming State Parks will have a presentation at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 about the prisoners of war who were at Camp Douglas during World War II.

The event will be online and at the Wyoming State Museum classroom, 2301 Central Ave., Cheyenne. Registration to attend the event online is available here. The talk will be posted on YouTube about a week after the event.

Jenna Thorburn, superintendent and curator at the Wyoming Pioneer Memorial Museum, Fort Fetterman State Historic Site and Camp Douglas Officers’ Club State Historic Site in Douglas, will make the presentation with Wyoming Pioneer Memorial Museum’s Tione Willox, a Wyoming State Archives news release said. They will answer questions about the history of Camp Douglas and the impact the prison camp had on the community, the Italian and German prisoners, army and civilian personnel and the whole state during the war. They will also recap the Camp Douglas Officers’ Club’s transformation into a state historic site and the building’s restoration process.

The Camp Douglas Officers’ Club State Historic Site, which is the only building still in existence from the Prisoner of War Camp. It is in Douglas. (Tione Willox)

Thorburn, a fifth-generation Wyomingite, has spent most of her career at the sites in Douglas and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming in Social Science, with an emphasis in U.S. history, as well as a master’s degree in museum studies from the University of Oklahoma. Willox has lived in Douglas since 1992 and helps Thorburn create exhibits at the Douglas sites. The Douglas sites are a division of Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails.

The Wyoming State Archives speaker series hosts talks at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month. On Dec. 14, historian Rick Ewig will talk about the 1955 United Flight 409 crash on Medicine Bow Peak. On Jan. 11, 2024, Evan Green will discuss the use of firearms as art.

Upcoming events information is available on the Wyoming State Archives events calendar at wyoarchives.wyo.gov/index.php/about-archives/events. For more information, contact Wyoming State Archivist Sara Davis at wyarchive@wyo.gov or 307-777-7826. For assistance with disability accommodations, call 307-777-7826.

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