The history of Springville is built upon its location near Hobble Creek - a stream that drains the humble watershed of Hobble Creek Canyon, and which feeds the creek above the Hobble Creek Golf Course. In fact, the town of Springville was initially called Hobble Creek. The name was eventually changed to reflect the abundance of natural springs within and just north of the town.
Native Americans of the Ute tribe were the first to occupy the land around this well-watered valley. They hunted and fished in the area until 1850, when Aaron Johnson led settlers to Springville. The Mormon settlers then displaced the Native Americans and relegated them to an "Indian Farm" located at the mouth of the Spanish Fork River near the Utah Lake. Like the Native Americans before them, the Springville stockmen lived in the valley during the winter and grazed their animals in the mountains in summer. This overuse of the land led to a series of floods and mudflows, which left the land virtually barren.
During the stockraisers' struggle with the abused land, area farmers began to seek more water for irrigation. With the aid of the federal government, they developed the Strawberry Project, using the nearby Strawberry River to irrigate their salvaged farmland. Springville's "Union Bench" was a beneficiary of the project, and this led to the formation of the city of Mapleton out of the Springville benchland. Situated between Hobble Creek and the Spanish Fork River, Mapleton was used by early settlers in Utah County for livestock grazing, logging and farming. Mapleton?s first permanent settlers arrived around 1870, attracted by the land offered through the Homestead Act. The town kept the name "Union Bench" until 1901, when the name was officially changed to Mapleton. The city was incorporated in 1948.
Throughout World War II and into the 1960s, both areas experienced significant growth. Springville soon became a bedroom community for Geneva Steel, Brigham Young University and an array of other businesses located throughout Salt Lake City. Over the years, Springville itself has become the home to many large employers including Stouffer Foods Corporation and Valtek, which employ hundreds of workers each.
Springville is known as the ?Art City? because of its well-respected art museum. The Springville Museum of Art is Utah's oldest and most beautiful museum for the visual fine arts. The Spanish Colonial Revival-style building was completed in 1937 and was dedicated as a "sanctuary of beauty and a temple of meditation.? More than 1,500 works by many well-known artists, both local and national, are displayed in the building. The museum gained national recognition in 1922 with the establishment of the April (or Spring) Salon. Now held every summer, this annual festival highlights Utah artists and their works.
Other local festivals include the Springville World Folkfest and the Mapleton Arbor Day Celebration. The Springville World Folkfest is an annual event that hosts a wide variety of artistic performing groups, while the Mapleton Arbor Day Celebration features breakfast and a live band, along with other forms of family fun and entertainment.
Utah's diverse geography provides a wealth of recreational opportunities. The cities of Springville and Mapleton are proud to maintain nine parks, three tennis courts, nine covered picnic facilities, 24 baseball, soccer and football fields, and one golf course. Hobble Creek Golf Course is a regulation championship 18-hole course and was rated by Golf Digest as ?one of the best places to play? in 2001-2002. Other outdoor activities include skiing, hunting, fishing, boating and hiking. Those who prefer to spend their time indoors can enjoy an afternoon at the public library, the art museum, the pioneer museum, or the arts park.
Both Springville and Mapleton are served by the Nebo School District. Springville houses five elementary schools, one middle school, one junior high school and one high school, while Mapleton is home to just two elementary schools - Mapleton and Hobble Creek. Utah students exceed the national average score for the American College Testing Program each year, and continuously achieve above-average academic exam performance. Those seeking further education can attend the nearby Utah Valley State College (UVSC) in Orem or Brigham Young University (BYU), a private institution, located in Provo. Residents may also choose to attend the fully accredited University of Utah, just a short drive away.
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