Midvale
Pop. 176

Based upon its name, it comes as no surprise that Midvale lies in the middle of two other valleys: the Weiser and Salubria valleys. Previously called Middle Valley, this settlement arose in 1868 with the arrival of John Reed and his family. Upon their arrival, the Reeds constructed a log cabin along the Weiser River and created a sawmill. Despite the sawmill’s promising potential, growth was slow through the 1870s.

In 1881, the population boomed with the arrival of forty Oregon Trail emigrants weary of further traveling. Two years later, a wooden bridge was erected over the river, but high flood waters every spring frequently washed out the dirt embankments holding the span in place. In 1896, this annual occurence created a fiasco for a young couple residing on the river’s east side. As the young lovebirds were unable to cross over to attend their own wedding, the officiant stood on the river’s west side and shouted out the vows. Finally, in 1911, a steel bridge was built at approximately the same location. With the 1899 arrival of the PI & N Railroad, Midvale grew as a prominent sheep ranching location. The large quantities of lambs and wool production sustained the community’s economy from 1905 to 1930.

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