Interview with Kemper Nomland

Interview with Kemper Nomland

The following is an excerpt from an interview with Kemper Nomland:


So how long did you spend in Waldport?

Well, a few years. I was arrested just before the war was over. Our work was with the Forest Service and the Forest Service decided they didn’t like how I worked. I wasn’t producing enough and so they refused me to let me go on project. So, for awhile there, I would report to duty and they would refuse me each day.

So what would you do during the day?

Well, I would work on the projects for the Fine Arts Group - printing things and doing different types of art work.

I’m trying to understand this refusing to let you work. Because you didn’t plant enough trees?

Well, yes. Trees. Or didn’t saw enough logs or whatever I was doing.

So they were saying because you didn’t do enough we won’t take you out to do it? 

Yes. I didn’t work fast enough, produce enough. I was working as well as I could.

So they left you in camp. Were you the only one in this situation or were there others?

No, I was the only one. So that resulted in me being ordered by the Forest Service to leave the camp and go to a different camp somewhere else. A government- run camp instead of a religious camp. I didn’t go. I just stayed there. So they finally arrested me. And took me up to Portland and I had to get a lawyer. There were certain lawyers that did work for people that were opposing the war. And then the war ended the same day.

That you were going to court?

Yes. So then I was put on probation.


--Taken from Siuslaw National Forest and Portland State University History Department. "Camp 56: An Oral History Project." p184-6.

For more of the interview see <>