Midway, Utah

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Midway is a city in Wasatch County, Utah, United States. It is located in the Heber Valley, approximately three miles west of Heber City and 28 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, on the opposite side of the Wasatch Mountains. The population was 2,121 at the 2000 census and was estimated at 3,474 in 2007.

Contents

History

The first Anglo-Americans to visit the area, a valley just northeast of Mount Timpanogos, were members of a fur-trapping 1824 brigade led by Etienne Provost. The area was referred to as upper Provo, and is also the name of the river running south through the valley.

A wagon road was completed through Provo Canyon in 1858 that brought the first settlers to the area. Two small communities were established. One of them, Mound City, was named for the many nearby limestone formations. The Robey, Epperson, Bronson, McCarroll, and Smith families were first to settle there.

Indian hostilities grew, and territorial governor, Brigham Young, encouraged settlers to build forts for protection. The two settlements built a fort, "midway" between the two communities. In the 1860s and 70s, a large number of Swiss immigrants arrived, including the Gertsch, Boss, Huber, Kohler, Probst, Zenger, Durtschi, Krebs, Murri, and Abegglen families. Descendants of some these families still live in Midway.

Midway was incorporated June 1, 1891; its industry based on livestock and farming. As the town grew, so did the need for building materials. In the early 1850s, sawmills were built, operated by Henry T. Coleman, John Watkins, and Moroni Blood. John H. Van Wagoner constructed the first commercial gristmill in 1861. Bonner Mercantile Store was the first retail store.

Schneitter's Hot Pots (now The Homestead [1]) and Luke's Hot Pots (known as the Mountain Spa [2] for 56 years, is being redeveloped as The Rock Cavern Thermal Springs Health & Wellness Resort). Both were established in the 1880s.

Civic improvements were made in the 1930s and 1940s, including a concrete sidewalk program started in 1938. The Midway Recreation Center, called the "Town Hall," was dedicated in June 1941, and is the center of many community events, including Swiss Days.

Swiss Days

Midway Swiss Days brings thousands of people to the town. The event was started in 1947, through the efforts of Luke's Hot Pots Resort owners, Joseph B. and Pauline S. Erwin and was originally called Harvest Days. They formed a club known as the "Midway Boosters," which is still active, and whose members promote city improvements and activities. In order to attract larger crowds to Midway, the idea of a Swiss theme was created by Orma W. Wallengren (Claire Peterson) whose family owned and operated the Homestead, replacing the name and theme of Harvest Days with Swiss Days.

Notable facts

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