John Barrett
Zella (somes spelled Zelda) Barrett (19?? - 1990)
Irene Barrett (19?? - 1993)

October 1, 2004

Hi, My husband Alan Rossing sent you an e-mail about the Barretts. JOHN, ZELLA and IRENE

Yes, they lived at Baguio and were originally interned there. Unfortunately, Irene died in 1993 but would have been 80 this October.

I didn't think the Baguio camp was run for the entirety of the war. There was another camp named where the family was and then they were moved just before the end of the war--probably into Santo Tomas. Could Irene Barnett be be Irene Barrett? I will check with another first cousin who is older but not as closely involved with this particular family as my father (John's brother) was.

Los Banos rang sort of a bell because of the talk about the high school there. Irene was 18 in 1942. I know she finished high school in the internment camp. The Japanese let them run a high school as long as they taught Japanese. She would never speak it.

John was a graduate of UC Berkeley somewhere in the 20s in mining engineering and was superintendent of the IXL mine in Baguio in the late 30s, early 40s. John, Zella and Irene came for a visit home to California in 1940. I was 8 years old. I remember going to the dock in SF to see them off and that all the women in the family were crying to see them go. No one wanted them to go back to the Philippines. It was a very emotional time. And I lost my little ball puzzle that came apart in pieces that you had to put together in 3 dimension!

Interestedly, soon after they returned in 1945 they lived in Auburn. I can remember visiting them where they lived somewhere across a wide field near the freeway. Since I was only up that way once again until 1997 and the highway had changed somewhat I couldn't recognize where they lived. I remember this open meadow very clearly because they had an Irish setter that persisted in running across toward the Highway 40. John had a position with some mine in the area, I think. At least that is my impression.

They were not there very long as they moved to the Triumph mine near Hailey, ID. Irene who had taken the Barrett name but was child of Zella's first marriage to ( ) Raust or Roust, met a wonderful man named Joseph McFadden who was the District Attorney in Hailey. Later he was appointed to the Idaho Supreme Court and they lived many years in Boise with court times in Coeur d'Alene. They had four children with whom I am in touch.

Irene unfortunately had learned to smoke in prison camp (although both her parents also smoked) and died of emphysema in 1993. Her mother, Zella Evans Raust Barrett, returned in her late years to California and married her school mate, Bob Kelton. They lived in Crescent Mills, CA which is in Plumas County. Zella died in 1990.

Well, you probably got more than you wished for. We are also related by marriage to the Delahuntys who were one of the families that hid out and who were mentioned in a long ago book (and article in Ladie's Home Journal) about the people who hid out early in the war. One of their cousins is also in touch. I believe it was Frank Delahunty. I have limited info on them.

In reviewing this information, I understand better that you are compiling data from various individuals. Therefore, I would really question the Baguio concentration camp. They were held briefly at the mining camp compound but were taken to an internment camp fairly soon. I don't believe there was a true internment camp at Baguio--it would have been too nice with the cooler weather.

Thanks for your information. I will forward this to the various cousins mentioned within a few days.

Catherine Barrett Rossing
Monterey, CA

If you would like to share any information about the Barrett family
or would like to be added to my POW/Internee e-mail distribution list,
please let the me know.

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