Chesterfield Planning Grant
Chesterfield, Caribou County
- Grant: 2002
Location: Chesterfield Town Site, Idaho 83217 (North of Bancroft)
Founded in the early 1880’s by LDS member Chester Call, Chesterfield persevered through several difficult winters and droughts to become a bustling town of over 400 people at its peak. The Great Depression and nation-wide decline in agriculture in the ‘20s led to the fall of Chesterfield, which was generally abandoned in 1941. One of the best-preserved examples of an early Mormon colony anywhere in the West, Chesterfield and the surrounding landscape exist surprisingly intact, untouched by any nearby development. Chesterfield is home to several remarkable buildings, including an LDS meeting hall and tithing house, each exhibiting a distinguished level of craftmanship. In 1980, the area was added to the National Register of Historic Places and is listed on the Mormon Historic Sites Registry.
Since 1992, the Idaho Heritage Trust awarded $139,000 in various grants to the Chesterfield Foundation in order to acquire and preserve the historic townsite. Restoration of the historic homes, schoolhouse, general store, and other buildings commenced, breathing new life into this ghost town. Very few places from this era of Idaho’s history remain, making it all the more important to preserve this remarkable piece of our heritage. Chesterfield is open to the public from Labor Day through Memorial Day and offers an engrossing visitor experience, including a museum housed in the original Holbrook Mercantile General Merchandise store.