Middletown's history is quite limited. Of the three
communities that once lined the Michel Creek Valley, it is often
the most forgotten. Perhaps Middletown is omitted from the
memory because the area is now commonly referred to as
Michel-Natal, (the names of the towns that used to lay on its
either side), perhaps it is due to its relative size.
Regardless, Middletown's identity was inextricably linkedeven
overshadowedby Michel and Natal.
Michel, Middletown, and Natal were separated by less than a
kilometre. Natal, the cultural and commercial part of the
Valley, was the furthest west and Michel, which had the largest
population, was located east. Even at its peak, Middletown was
the smallest settlement, with only about 40 houses.
Like its neighbouring communities, Middletown has long ceased
to exist. In the 1950s, many moved from the town, most leaving
for Sparwood. Over the years, the accumulation of dirty air from
the tipples took its toll on the community. Without government
support, Middletown deteriorated considerably, its many homes
and buildings blackened by coke oven smoke. When the British
Columbia government proposed the demolition of Michel Creek
Valley communities in 1964, Middletown was the first to
disappear. Today there is little left that would indicate the