Interview with John Nichols

Can you tell me about the numbers in terms of the numbers of people that were arrested and what, where did you put them?


If my memory serves me right, and it's been 20 years, there were some 8000 people arrested in period of about 7 to 8 days. Ah, we housed them in almost every available cell. We rented space from, ah, county jails. The State Police moved them all over the state. About the 3rd day, an individual came into my office and said he could convert the old bathing beach at Belle Isle into a stockade that he had been a military engineer and if I could get him the go ahead he would do it. And I reluctantly gave him the go ahead, not because I didn't want the place, because I didn't think he could do it. But he did, and he built a, he built a stockade and one of the problems we had with that was it was occupied the old bath house, it was right on the river, it was nice and airy, and it was cool, and when it came time to move those prisoners to the County Jail, they were not at all happy. They liked it better out at what they called Bellecatraz, ah, ah, it didn't go over too big with the yacht club, I might add.


OK, cut please.