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The City Journals

Faces and places in Sugarhouse

Dec 11, 2018 10:38AM ● By Spencer Belnap

Geese and ducks living on Allen Park Drive. (Spencer W. Belnap/ City Journals)

By Spencer W. Belnap | [email protected] 


Westminster Park

Westminster Park (968 E. 1700 South) is a small, quiet urban park in Sugar House that plenty of people may drive by on a regular basis without notice. In the summertime, it can often be filled with children and teens killing time when schools out. There are swing sets and a jungle gym playground, as well as permanent tables with boards for games of chess or checkers. In the center of the park is a gazebo with benches and near constant shade. Patches of grass offer some spots to throw down a picnic blanket or toss a football around as well. A small white fence and some shrubs surround the perimeter of Westminster Park, and parking is available along 1000 East. Parents should be cautious of small kids and pets along busy 1700 South, but the quaint park definitely has some decent shade and fun features. 

Allen Park/ “Hobbitville”

Some Sugar House and Salt Lake residents may be familiar with an urban legend known as “Hobbitville.” It is a myth that arose over time about a supposed group of very small homes in the city. The property at 1865 S. 1300 East became the supposed village. Located across the street from Westminster College, the space is often touted as being haunted and inhabited by little homes with little people, or “hobbits.” While this myth has been around for years and its roots unknowable, the truth is the private property has homes owned or rented by average sized humans and always has. It was actually a bird conservation sanctuary at one point. Dr. George Allen and his wife Ruth started a bird sanctuary on the property in the 1930s, and the public could come and see exotic birds every Sunday until it closed in the early 1960s. The woodsy area runs along Emigration Creek and still has some peacocks and geese living on the land. While there is no spooky “Hobbitville” in Sugar House, there is a neat cabin enclave with big birds as you walk along 1300 East. 


What do you enjoy about the holidays in Salt Lake City?

Darryl Stamp

“I always like to drive around Sugar House and different neighborhoods to look at the Christmas lights on various homes, and the Christmas trees lit up in living rooms. On a side note, when my daughter Sophia was little, it was our tradition to drink and eat a little of the snacks we left for ‘Santa,’ along with a note to thank her and encourage her to continue being a good girl.” 

Jason Webb

“There’s a totally different energy during the holidays. It seems like in a weird way, the pace at which everyone vibrates and moves around the city slows down. The calm that can blanket the city is something I always look forward to.”

Juliana Ley

“There’s just enough snow and cold. It gets pretty intense from where I’m from in Michigan. You can still walk outside comfortably here and enjoy decorations. I love seeing creative store signs in Sugar House. I also like that you can still go hiking, just got to layer, of course.”