, , , , , ,

In 1899, the Rio Grande Western Railroad came to Heber and started grading for the Provo Canyon line. The railroad continued to operate for over seventy years. It was very active in transporting large numbers of sheep to distant markets as Heber Valley became known as the sheep shipping center of Western America. The line was abandoned in 1969 by the Denver and Rio Grande railroad. Tracks were mostly removed and only those between Bridal Veil Falls and Heber were kept in place. The Wasatch Mountain Railway Company took over these tracks in 1969 and began “Heber Creeper” excursions in 1971. The “Heber Creeper” currently runs from Heber City to Vivian Park.

Heber City Posts:

Heber City is a city in Wasatch County. The population was 11,362 at the 2010 census. Heber City was founded by English emigrants who were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the late 1850s, and is named after the Mormon apostle Heber C. Kimball. It is the county seat of Wasatch County. The original Heber City town square is located on the west side of main street between Center street and 100 north and currently houses city offices as well as the historic Wasatch Stake Tabernacle and Heber Amusement Hall. The city was largely pastoral, focusing largely on dairy farms and cattle ranching, and has since become a bedroom community for Orem, Provo, Park City and Salt Lake City.

Heber City was first settled in 1859 by Robert Broadhead, James Davis and James Gurr. John W. Witt built the first house in the area. The area was under the direction of Bishop Silas Smith who was in Provo. In 1860 Joseph S. Murdock became the bishop over the Latter-day Saints in Heber City and vicinity.

When the Mormons arrived in the Great Basin in 1847, they welcomed the opportunity to shape a virgin land into the Kingdom of God, and they pursued an aggressive colonization pattern. Heber Valley in the Wasatch Mountains, forty miles southeast of Salt Lake City and twenty-eight miles northeast of Provo, could not be settled until there was a wagon road through either Parley’s or Provo canyons. The first attempt to build such a road, however, was delayed by the Utah War and the Move South. Once Johnston’s Army was settled at Camp Floyd near Utah Lake, Brigham Young responded to appeals by residents of Provo to build a road up the canyon. By 1859 a road linked Provo and Heber Valley and newcomers who were looking for land settled the little valley communities of Heber City, Midway, Charleston, Center Creek, Daniels, and Wallsburg.

According to John Crook, the first historian of the area, most of the initial settlers came from England and had been converted by Heber C. Kimball. To honor Kimball, they decided to name the valley and the first settlement after him. The residents harvested their first crops in 1859 but then returned to Utah Valley for the winter. The next year they returned to make permanent homes. They initially built a fort for protection from Indian raids. Once fear of raids ended, they started to build homes in the surveyed townsite. The settlers built using locally quarried red sandstone as well as adobe and brick. The sandstone was also shipped and used in buildings in other parts of the state.

When the area was settled, the northern part of what is now Wasatch County (including Heber City and Midway) was in Salt Lake County and the southern part (including Wallsburg in Round Valley) was in Utah County. In 1862 the Utah legislature created Wasatch County and made Heber City the county seat. At the time the county was created there were more than 1,000 people living in the area. Heber City was incorporated as a town in 1889 and as a city in 1901.