The Heber Valley / Wasatch County area was originally discovered by Native Americans; the Timpanogos Utes being the most recent. The area was used primarily as a summer hunting ground and as an area where materials for hunting tools could be found and produced. "Wasatch" in the Uto-Aztecan language means "mountain pass" or "low pass over high range."
On a summer morning in 1857 workers employed at a sawmill in Big Cottonwood Canyon hiked to the summit of the Wasatch Range and viewed a high mountain valley to the southeast that had been reputed as a "paradise land." Hearing promising reports from the sawmill workers and others, a group of cattlemen left Provo in the Spring of 1858 and drove their herds up Provo Canyon to establish ranches in the south end of the valley while others during the spring and summer of 1858 explored the area with an eye toward future settlement.
From London to Heber City
A pioneer party consisting primarily of LDS converts from Great Britain arrived on May 2, 1859. They camped about one mile north of present Heber City and christened the townsite "London." The London townsite was surveyed in June 1859 by the Utah County Deputy Surveyor, Jesse Fuller. The initial point of Fuller's survey was established at what is now the north of end of Heber City Main Street. In 1862 Wasatch County was created by the territorial legislature and at that time the London townsite was renamed Heber City in recognition of the love the LDS settlers from Britain had for their Mission Leader, Heber C. Kimball. As the largest settlement in the area, Heber City was established as the county seat.
October 1858: A road is completed up "Provo Kanyon" at LDS Church President, Brigham Young's request; a bridge was constructed to cross the Provo River at the mouth of the canyon.
July 1859: Settlers build their houses closely together to form a fort (Fort Heber) located between First West and Third West and Second North and Fifth North for protection from Native Americans.
1862: Issac O. Wall carries mail on horseback to the community during summer months. During spring the Provo River is too high to cross and Mr. Wall extends a cable from trees on either side of the river to transfer mail pouches with the Provo mail carrier.
1864 and 1865; Homes and community buildings are built from native Red Sandstone.
Spring 1866: Heber City's population grows as people from surrounding settlements move together for protection from Native Americans during the Black Hawk War.
March 23, 1889: The Wasatch Wave under the ownership of William H. Buys publishes its first edition.
1889: Heber City incorporates as a township.
Friday, September 29, 1899: Rio Grande Western Railroad completes connection from Provo to Heber City with seven stations on the line.
November 1907: Heber City's first public library is established in two rooms above the Heber Mercantile Building.
Fall 1909: Construction of the Heber Light and Power Plant north of town is completed and residents of Heber City, Midway, and Charleston enjoy electric power for the first time.
1900: Charles and Lavisa Alexander start their telephone company servicing 12 telephones; the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Co. purchases the Alexander's company in 1911; 170 telephones had been installed by this time.
1904: Heber City's first bank, The Bank of Heber City, is constructed at the corner of Main and Center Streets.
1918: The Ideal Movie Theater opens.
Winter 1937: A fire severely damages the Bank Building at Main and Center Street.
1981: Heber City resident, Bart the Bear, trained by Doug Seus stars in his first move, "Windwalker." Bart goes on to star in numerous movies including "The Edge" and "Legends of the Fall."
Winter 2002: The biathlon, cross-country skiing, and nordic events of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games are held at the Wasatch Mountain State Park, Soldier Hollow Venue.
April 3, 2002: CNN/Money publishes article entitled "Best Vacations: Heber Valley, Utah."
September 22, 2005: CNN/Money lists Heber City as a fast growing micropolis at 15.1% growth.
The information for this page was pulled from the following sites:
- Archaeological Data Recovery: Provo Canyon, James Firor, Lucille E. Harris, and Alan D. Reed; 2003 Excavations at the Provo Canyon Site 42WA42, Wasatch County, Utah (UDOT Project No. NH-0189 (6) 14). Reports, Excavations, Alpine Archaeological Consultants, 900 S. Townsend Ave, Montrose, CO 81402
- Archaeological Excavation of the Wolf Springs Site, Wasatch County, Utah; Alan D. Reed, 1994 Archaeological Excavation of the Wolf Springs Site (42WA125), Wasatch County, Utah; Reports, Excavations, Alpine Archaeological Consultants, 900 S. Townsend Ave, Montrose, CO 81402
- Bank of Heber Fire
- Bart the Bear Bio, IMBD
- Beehive History 14, Utah Counties. 1988. Utah State Historical Society, 300 Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84101-1192, 801/533-3500. Wasatch County
- CNN/Money "Best Vacations: Heber Valley, Utah"
- CNN/Money "The nation's fastest-growing areas"
- A History of Wasatch County, Utah Centennial County History Series, 1996 Wasatch County Commission - Utah State Historical Society, Written by Jessie L. Embry
- How Beautiful Upon the Mountains, Copyright 1963 by the Wasatch County Chapter of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Compiled and Edited by Wm. James Mortimer
- Wikipedia, Uto-Aztecan Languages
- Wikipedia; Bart the Bear