Friday, October 07, 2005
GPS Coord: N 42°51.576 W 111°54.36
Chesterfield is an early pioneer settlement established in 1880 that is now unoccupied. It was originally said to be named for founder Chester Call; others said it was named for his birthplace Chesterfield, England. The Oregon Trail passed through the town, and the settlers helped travelers who at this point were tired, or ill. The town grew to some 400 people, but eventually the changing world brought about its abandonment. The Oregon Trail fell into disuse, the railroad and main roads passed far to the south by Idaho Falls.
A visit to Chesterfield is a unique trip back in time and a chance to experience the rural agricultural life of a community whose deep faith helped them endure the hardships of life on the frontier. There are 27 structures overlooking the beautiful Portneuf Valley near Bancroft. Chesterfield is being restored by descendents of the early settlers and volunteers. The meeting house now is a museum and tours are available.
From Interstate 15, head east on US Highway 30 towards Soda Springs, Idaho. About five miles past Lava Hot Springs, Idaho take the local road to Bancroft, Idaho. Continue for another ten miles north to a town time has forgot, Chesterfield.