DUP # 440
After World War II the growth of the city to the south and east made it imperative to construct a large prison facility in a more isolated area. In 1951 all the old penitentiary buildings were demolished and the inmates transferred to “Point of the Mountain” 30 miles away. This site then became beautiful Sugarhouse Park. The stones in the monument are from the old penitentiary. The name “Sugarhouse” comes from a Mormon pioneer attempt to grow beets and refine sugar in this area. The refining process was unsuccessful and the factory was torn down but the name remained to designate a suburb of Salt Lake City. After 1849 pioneers entered and left the valley from the Sugarhouse staging area through Parley’s Canyon to the east.
SUP # 17
This monument marks the site of the Utah Penitentiary selected by Brigham Young in October 1853, then a safe 6 miles from the center of the city.
The first buildings of adobe brick, surrounded by a 12 foot wall, were occupied in January 1855. Early accounts indicate that escapes were frequent because of poor facilities and the lack of guards.
In 1866 the penitentiary was renovated. The three buildings, wall, and guard houses were upgraded to stone. Later a dining hall, hospital and women’s quarters were added.
By 1882 the penitentiary included 244 steel cells and a 250 capacity chapel. A new 19 foot wall enclosed 2 acres. A large area surrounding the prison was used by inmates to farm and raise livestock for inmate consumption.
Note: After World War II the growth of the city to the south and east made it imperative to construct the prison facility in a more isolated area, at the Point of the Mountain (1951).
See other historic markers in the series on this page for SUP Markers.
Check out all of the historic markers placed by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers at JacobBarlow.com/dup