Horse power . .
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 had 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 at the end of that same year, hotel owner Thomas Wilkins opened the East Midland Hotel (now the Darling Range Tavern) due to the large number of race-goers. Horse racing continued at the Helena Vale Racecourse until 1969. The area that was once occupied by the race course is now a light industrial area.
Image: Weighing in at Helena Vale Racecourse, 1927. SLWA 047452PD
Above: Cogan's Darling Range Hotel c1940s