Situated in the heart of Cache Valley, Lewiston, Utah, is a primarily agricultural town covering approximately 24 square miles. Bordered by Utah-Idaho state line in the north and cradled between the Bear and Cub rivers, Lewiston boasts highly fertile land conducive to the predominant dairy and livestock industries. Despite closure of its sugar factory in 1972, agriculture remains central to Lewiston’s economy, bolstered by local factories and diverse non-farm occupations.
Unlike typical Mormon settlements, Lewiston was not compartmentalized into small city blocks; farms sprawled across the land and a small business district and residential area emerged at the grid’s center. First settled in 1870, Lewiston’s land was claimed under the federal Homestead Act, causing resentment among neighboring communities who had long used the area as pasture land. The town’s initial nickname, “poverty flats,” was soon replaced by Lewiston, honoring William H. Lewis, the first LDS bishop in the area.
The establishment of a sugar factory in 1904 sparked a wave of municipal developments including the introduction of telephone lines, an electric franchise, city water system, a railroad line, and sidewalk paving in the city center. Despite these improvements, Lewiston’s population growth was gradual and punctuated by periods of decline. By the 1990 census, the population was listed at 1,532. Lewiston maintains its LDS roots, with several wards having been established since 1877. Today, it remains a symbol of agricultural prosperity in the region.