Malad Valley Welsh Society
In January 2004 the Malad Valley Welsh Society was founded in Malad City, Idaho. The mission of the Society is to preserve and promote Maladís Welsh heritage. Malad City is the county seat of Oneida County, located in the southeast corner of Idaho along the Idaho-Utah state line. The population of the county is 4,500 with 2,200 residing in Malad City. Although diverse in heritage now, Malad Valley at one time was predominantly Welsh, and residents are gaining a renewed appreciation for their heritage.
The Malad Valley telephone book lists Thomas, Williams, Evans, Jones, Morgan, Griffiths, Davis, and Price as the most prevalent names still today. The mascot of Malad High School is the dragon. Researchers from Brigham Young University are studying the family histories and DNA of Malad residents and report that Malad has perhaps the highest number of persons of Welsh ancestry per capita anywhere in the United States.
For years it has been the dream of many in Malad to begin a Welsh Society and renew the traditional eisteddfod that, from the 1880s to 1916, brought thousands of people to the Malad Valley. That dream came true in 2004 with the founding of the Malad Valley Welsh Society and the first Malad Valley Welsh Festival which was held in July of that year with over 800 attendees.
The Malad Valley Welsh Society is now holding monthly meetings where the culture, traditions, history, and language of Wales are presented and studied. Some of the monthly activities include viewing travel films and videotaped trips of Wales, learning simple Welsh phrases, eating delicious Welsh deserts, sharing Welsh artifacts and souvenirs, and listening to and learning songs of Wales.
As of April 2006 there are about 120 members and growing monthly! Everyone who wants to learn more about the Welsh heritage of the Malad Valley is welcome to join the Society. Click here to download the membership application and join us. We'd love to have you.