sugar houses

“The sugar house on the corner of William Street and Duane Street in lower Manhattan was used as a prison by occupying British forces during the American Revolutionary War,” states old-time cop Ricky Bendicky, originally from East Bennington. “Out of 2,600 prisoners of war captured during the Battle of Fort Washington in November 1776, 1,900 would die in the following months at makeshift prisons. At least 17,500 are estimated to have perished under substandard conditions of such sugar houses and British prison ships over the course of the war, more than double that of casualties from battle.”

“When did it become the police station?” asks rookie cop George Carver Washington, Gaffer George as his fellow officers had started calling him after he accidentally shot himself in the arse last Thursday.

“Built in 1763 by William Rhinelander,” continues Ricky, “the sugar house was a five-story brick warehouse originally storing molasses and sugar next to his own residence. The old warehouse was replaced by the Rhinelander Building, which retained part of the original wall from 1892 to 1968, and received reports of ghostly prisoner sightings. The site is now occupied by the headquarters of the Gaston-Berry Police Department, near which one of the original barred windows was retained.”

“Fascinating,” coos young George. “And how about Utah?”

“Sugar House Prison, previously the Utah Territorial Penitentiary, was a prison in the Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City founded by territorial governor Brigham Young in 1852. The 180-acre prison housed more than 400 inmates. It was closed in 1951 due to encroaching housing development, and all of its inmates were moved to the new Utah State Prison in Draper. The site is now occupied by the headquarters of the Gaston-Berry Police Department.”

George pauses, then: “And that’s where Hidden Village comes from?”

“Yes,” answers Ricky.

“And Greg Ogden and Gregg Oden?”

“We’ll see.”

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