The name ‘Midvale’ is a combination of the two localities Midland and Helena Valley. Until the 1950s the area remained largely undeveloped. The earliest development in the area was the result of horse racing. The Helena Vale Race club formed in 1897 and by 1900 opened a horse racing track in an area to the north of Bellevue. The track became so popular that a branch line of the Eastern Railway was extended to the site.

By 1904 a grandstand had been completed and the venue operated until 1969. Due to the presence of race-goers, hotel owner Thomas Wilkins, opened the East Midland Hotel (now the Darling Range Tavern) at the end of 1904. The area once occupied by the race course is now a light industrial area.

Image: Weighing in at Helena Vale Racecourse, 1927. SLWA 047452PD

Darling Range Hotel.jpg

Above: Cogan's Darling Range Hotel c1940s