A New Look at Old Middleton – National Register of Historic Places

Every successful town has certain advantages to ensure its ongoing viability.
Transportation, businesses, a residential core, and services for its citizens are a few essentials.
Middleton in 2023 certainly has these. A state highway runs through the town, businesses line
our main street, many neighborhoods offer inviting places to live, and a variety of banks,
insurance agencies, and agricultural suppliers provide needed services.

If we turn the clock back one hundred years or so, these factors were also present in
early Middleton, and their existence assured Middleton’s stability and future growth. Many of
these structures were well-built and have been maintained through the years. As a result, there
are several buildings within the downtown core that are now eligible for listing on the National
Register of Historic Places. So what, exactly, does that mean?

The National Register of Historic Places, managed by the National Park Service, is the
official list of our nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. It is part of a national program to
identify and protect America’s historic and archeological resources. The designation is one
indication of the intent and willingness to recognize and help preserve the historical value of
buildings important to our past. In brief, a property must be at least 50 years old, look much as it
did when constructed, have significant architectural history, and be associated with important
events or activities in the area.

As you drive around Middleton, notice the older homes and businesses that still retain
their original structure. As Canyon County’s oldest city Middleton has a number of buildings of
historical interest. What a wonderful celebration of that heritage it would be to have two, three,
four or more buildings within our downtown core area listed on the National Register.

Right now, you can visit the first building in Middleton to be put on the National Register,
the 1912 Idaho Power substation, which is now the Lee Moberly Museum, 314 Cornell Street. It
was the first one, but hopefully will not be the only one for very much longer. The Historical
Society can provide information about this process if you would like to know more.

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