At one time, the community was known as Middle Station and was a halfway point on the stagecoach route over Mt. St. Helena from Calistoga to Lower Lake. The first house was built at the site by J.H. Berry in 1870. The Middleton post office opened in 1871 and changed its name to Middletown in 1875. Middletown enjoyed a robust quicksilver (mercury) mining industry through the end of the 19th century. By the early 1900s, cattle and sheep ranching were prominent, along with some limited pear and walnut production. A resort economy sprung up around the various natural springs, and the area around Middletown attracted vacationers from the Bay Area through the 1950s. Many of the resorts closed in the 1960s. In the 1970s and early 1980s, exploitation of nearby geothermal energy resources brought an influx of workers into the local economy. Electrical power plants powered by "steam wells" were built in the mountains above Middletown. As housing prices in the Bay Area increased in the late 20th century, Middletown and nearby Hidden Valley Lake enjoyed a population boom as commuters moved to the Middletown area looking for affordable housing. Nearby tourism includes Harbin Hot Springs and the Twin Pine Casino located on the local Rancheria south of the town. A large resort, 2 miles (3.2 km) southeast of town, was proposed in 2020, consisting of low-density residential development, preserved open space, retail space, restaurants, and several boutique hotels.
Hidden Valley Lake
Hidden Valley Lake, CA, (HVL) was originated and developed by the USA Land Corp. from the late 1960s until 1972. During that time, a dam was constructed across Coyote Creek creating the 102 acre "Hidden Valley Lake." Also during that time several buildings were constructed - clubhouse, cart barn, tennis courts and campground - and the 18-Hole "Billy Bell" golf course was installed. Its original design was as a vacation/recreation retreat. From 1970-72, the Equestrian Center and Country Club (later, Community Center) were built. 3310 lots were laid out for homes. Another 695 larger lots were also laid out in a nearby area called "The Ranchos." In 1972, USA Land Corp. was bought by Boise Cascade. BC offered model vacation homes, regular homes and vacation rentals. BC promoted the leisure-time and recreational activities available at HVL throughout the Western USA.Hidden Valley Lake Details »
Lakeport was first settled by Native Americans several thousand years ago. At the coming of the settlers, the Kabe-napos, a subtribe of the Pomo people, lived here within their main village. The village name was Kaci-Badon, after the water lily plant Kaci and Badon which was the native name for island.Lakeport Details »
Lower Lake was founded by E. Mitchell in 1858 as Grantville. He built the first house there. The settlement's first post office was opened in 1858.Lower Lake Details »