City of Richfield Idaho
The City of Richfield is a small town located 15 miles
east of Shoshone along Highway 26. Though small in area and population,
what it lacks in size and wealth is more than made up for in heart
Alberta was the original name chosen for the area but
in 1908 changed to Richfield, presumably to entice prominent businessmen
The city sprang up around several tent towns that
appeared along the Oregon Short Line route after the railroad entered Shoshone
and Hailey in the late 1800s. Alberta was originally one of these tent
towns, as was Marley and Pagari.
The town was christened in 1907 and the tents were
replaced by shacks and wooden buildings. Settlement in the area was also the
result of two important land acts. The Homestead Act and The Carey Land Act.
In 1907, the Idaho Irrigation Company held a land opening in Richfield. In less
than a week, almost 10,000 acres of farm ground and more than 100 lots in town
had been sold.
Due to its location along the railroad route, Richfield
quickly became the shipping point for all material to be used in the
construction work on the irrigation system and Magic Reservoir. This added to
a huge growth in population.
Since that time, the population has fluctuated a great
deal and many businesss have come and gone. The area has always been
dependent on the agricultural industry and has either prospered or suffered
depending on agricultural economy.
Many continue to farm in the surrounding areas despite the struggling economy
and numerous years of drought conditions.
Today the City of Richfield has a population of 420 and
at least that many live in the surrounding areas. The oldest business in
Richfield is Pipers Grocery Store. It was established in 1939 by Joe and Helen
Piper and is still thriving today and is owned by Grandson Mike Piper.
All Richfield residents, both past and present, have
been and continue to be, fiercely loyal to the little town. Many who have moved
out of the area return annually to visit old friends and reminisce and can be
overheard saying that the best years of their lives were spent in Richfield.
Once dubbed the Biggest little town in Idaho, Richfield remains big in the
hearts of all who have passed through.