A controversy over wording on a historic monument in Sugarhouse Park is about to be resolved.
"We're going to get this thing resolved, I promise you that," said Morris Bennion, Sons of Utah Pioneers president.The controversy surfaced last summer following dedication of two monuments, one sponsored by the SUP and the other by Daughters of Utah Pioneers. The monuments mark the site of the first Utah Territorial Prison, which stood at the Sugarhouse Park site from 1855 through 1955, when the remaining buildings were demolished. The prison was closed in 1951 when prisoners were transferred to the present Point of the Mountain site.
Relatives of Daniel Garn (spelled Carn in old prison documents) say the plaque incorrectly identifies Albert Parry Rockwood as the prison's first warden. They contend that distinction belongs to Daniel Garn and have submitted documentation to support their contention, including writings by Rockwood himself.
"We will be meeting with Garn family members on April 14 to see if we can resolve this problem," Bennion said. "We want things to be right but at this point it is too early to say just what will be done."
Bennion said SUP and DUP leaders will be meeting March 29 with representatives from the chapters that sponsored the monuments. Information will be reviewed to determine what options are available. Bennion said the meeting will include people from the company that made the monument.
Phillip Garn, Phoenix, who heads the Garn Family Organization, said he hopes the meeting will have positive results. He said the family's main concern is getting the inaccurate information removed from the plaque. He said it would be nice to have Daniel Garn mentioned on the plaque if possible, but that is a secondary concern. "There are family members who really want to see that happen."
The two six-foot-high monuments are constructed of bricks taken from the old prison when it was demolished to make way for the park.
Cost estimates for redoing the monument have ranged as high as $3,000. Bennion said the cost of correcting the mistake will play a role in determining which alternative is selected.