Sugar Beets – by Day Christensen (2003)
To the residents of Sugar House, the sugar beet symbolizes the area’s history and represents the distinctive character of their community. Sugar was a scarce commodity in the west during pioneer times. In the 1850s, sugar beet seeds were imported from France and one of Utah’s earliest industries was launched. A sugar mill was built near the intersection of present day 2100 South and 1100 East. Water from Parley’s Creek was employed to turn the factory’s water wheel. Although the plan to produce sugar never materialized, the neighborhood adopted the name Sugar House in reference to this centrally located building. The mill was refitted to manufacture paper, and over the years, the Sugar Mill housed a machine shop for the Salt Lake and Utah Central Railway, and then was used as offices for Bamberger Coal Company.
For the artist, the giant cast-bronze sugar beets represent – with humor and affection – a permanent version of this Sugar House symbol.
These beets are located around Sugarhouse and the plaques explaining them are located at both ends of Hidden Hollow.