Midway UT, Swiss Days and some history…

Midway UtahAhh, my hometown of Midway, settled by Swiss immigrants in the 1800’s- in its current late summer glory- we’re coming up on the annual celebration of Swiss Days, August 30-31. A weekend of art, craft, food, music and even the coinciding sheepdog trials at Soldier Hollow. I’m sewing like a madwoman, stitching handmade goods since I’ll have a booth and pedaling my wares again this year.

1st annual Midway Swiss Days 1953I ran across this invitation in a locally published book, apparently the 1st annual Swiss Days was in 1953, making this the 60th year- so exciting folks! This book was full of fascinating historical images, in part because of the geothermal wonders of the area and structures that still exist today and have had us guessing at their age and how the appeared in their heyday.

Map of Midway UT, historicalI love this map, dates and notes, familiar and unfamiliar names.

Lukes Hot Pots, Midway UT, historicalOne of the most historically intriguing places in Midway is what is currently known as Mountain Spaa, formerly known as Luke’s Hot Pots.

Lukes Hot Pots 1910, Midway UT

archival, hot springs Midway UTThe early days of Midway, one of the larger crater hot springs and a local family.

Midway UT hot pot, historicalI think the 2 fellas to the right (in the water) must be twins. What do you think?

Mt Spaa hot pot Midway UTI think this is the crater hot spring where the previous two pictures were taken. Today, for whatever reason, it only has a bit of water in the bottom, about 15 feet down.

Craters like this one but in various sizes, dot the landscape for a few square miles in the heart of Midway. Most are dry and currently only two are available to swim in. The most famous and largest is the crater at the Homestead Resort, and I think a smaller hot pot can be soaked in at the adjacent Zermatt Resort as well.

Outdoor pool at Luke’s Hot Pots, 1930:
Mountain Spaa Midway UT 1930 The buildings and pools still stand, although currently in a state of extreme dilapidation. Curiosity (and the need for an interesting location for a photo shoot) got the best of us and we wandered around the place a year or so ago, snapping pictures and trying, in vain, to piece together the history of the place. When I found the book on the history of Midway, these photos answered some of our questions but still felt no less like looking at the Titanic in the former glory and then it’s current state.

empty poolThe same pool from the above picture, empty in early spring 2011. I’ve talked to friends who remember swimming in this pool in the 1990’s. It was fed by warm water from the hot spring (previous picture) which is just up the hill.

hot spring fed outdoor pool Midway UTHere’s the outdoor pool in 2013.

Mountain Spaa dining room Midway UTOne of the most intriguing and only interior photograph I could find is of the dining room- a little stage for live entertainment and all, I’m not sure what year the picture is from, but here’s how it looks today:
Mountain Spaa dining room Midway UTWandering around this place I kept trying to visualizing it in it’s prime… I’m picturing Kellerman’s in the movie Dirty Dancing.

Lukes hot pots, Hotel 1910 Midway UT
abandoned houseThis former hotel, built in 1890, has actually held up very well and is still looking sturdy and sound for it’s formidable 113 years. I hope when something becomes of this place, this building will be restored and not torn down.

For more photos of Mountain Spaa and the afore mentioned photo shoot, look here.

Leave a Reply