The City of Richfield is a small town located 15 miles
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
changed to Richfield, presumably to entice prominent businessmen
The city sprang up around several tent towns that
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
Since that time, the population has fluctuated a great
deal and many businesss
have come and gone. The area has always been dependent on
industry and has either prospered or suffered depending on
Many continue to farm in the surrounding areas despite the struggling economy
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
It was established in 1939 by Joe and Helen Piper and is still thriving today
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
old friends and reminisce and can be overheard saying that the best years of
lives were spent in Richfield. Once dubbed the Biggest little town in Idaho,
remains big in the hearts of all who have passed through.