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Hi Layne,

Found your website through Google and thought I would write. I found a postcard of the Richfield Hotel in my in-laws' attic in Massachusetts and thought I would see if the hotel was still around so I could mail it to the owners. Doesn't look like it is and your writeup on it is the most relevant thing I found. A scan of the postcard is attached in case you want to add it to your website. Just wanted to share another little piece of history.

Have a great day,

Robyn Schnaible
Portland, Maine

Thank you Robyn for taking the time to find our site, scan and send the image!


richfield hotel_smallest

Richfield Hotel 1909.

Photo by Richfield Commercial Club.

Courtesy 'Tricia' (Johnson) Cope.

"Tired traveling men, hungry fishermen, jaded tourists who are looking for the ultimate best; mothers with children; aristocrats who have not been able to find what their trained pessimism demands, will soon be able to find in Richfield the one thing they have been searching for—a really new, modern, first-class hotel, with beauty, comfort, everything that is not in the typical city hostelry. It is the city conveniences transplanted to the great out-doors; telephones, baths, hot and cold water, steam heat, and unexcelled cuisine, within the sight of the mountains, and where the coyotes, a little more than a year ago, held high carnival; where three years ago, the deer and occasional antelope roamed unpursued...". Source: excerpted from The History of Richfield Idaho, p. 48.


The Richfield Hotel was the la-de-dah social center of the community. In 1910, it was repainted and re-done, and a new snooty French Chef named A. Joyeaux, was hired, along with a crew of 'specialists in elegant foods', 'Parisiane dainties and delicacies'. The 'Hotel Veranda East' was set aside for summer tea, dinner, and special parties. Each affair became more elaborate than the last.

Out-of-town visitors were very impressed."
Source: Excerpted from Idaho and the Magic Circle, How They Came to Be, by Betty M. Bever, Caxton Printers, Caldwell, ID, 2000, pp. 254-257—Editor.

Dietrich Hotel Moved to Gooding, Richfield Hotel Stays

Excerpted from the same book, p. 317—Editor.

"During the Depression years, the once-proud, luxurious Richfield and Dietrich Hotels faded, sagged, became weather beaten and dilapidated until they took on a ghost-like apperance. No visitors, no money, no fancy French cooks, no maids, no maintenance, no management. In April, 1934, the east end of the Richfield Hotel was fitted up for the Richfield Women's Club to use as their meeting place. A month or so later, the Methodists from Gooding offered to buy the hotel and move it to Gooding. The taxes against it were $1,157.03 and the minimum for which it could be sold by the county was 90% of that. Too much for the Methodists, so the women's club continued to hold it down for their meetings.

The Dietrich Hotel had already been taken over by the Dietrich Methodists for their meetings, but after the Gooding Methodists failed to negotiate a deal for the Richfield Hotel, they made an offer for the Dietrich Hotel and got it! So those Gooding Methodists disassembled and hauled it over to Gooding to be used in construction of the Methodist Parsonage there."

Richfield Hotel, post WWII Years
"The Richfield Hotel got rented out for reunions and other activities and, on the last day of school, we kids used to go roller skating in it on the main floor, but it didn't really get used much after they closed it. Finally became old enough that it was dangerous and they tore it down."—Source: 'Tricia' (Johnson) Cope, fourth generation, 'Lou's branch.



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A goddess of agriculture, perched above an irrigation canal and with a water flume behind her, symbolized the hopes of the Idaho Irrigation Company and settlers on the Richfield tract in south central Idaho. The promotional booklet that featured the goddess on its cover was a joint project of the Oregon Short Line Railroad—with an obvious interest in encouraging settlers along its route—and the Richfield Commercial Club, a creation of the Idaho Irrigation Company. The artist, William Biddle Wells, was renowned for his eye-catching and fanciful covers of such promotional pieces. Source: cover, Idaho Yesterdays, Vol. 38, No. 1, 1994. See Family Letter, 1999, pp. 34-37. Courtesy: Idaho State Historical Society.



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"By the end of March (1908), the Idaho Irrigation Co., Ltd. was stone-cold dead. The old financial backers ('Eastern Capitalists') had all backed out (Panic of 1907); S.D. Boone was out; the Slick Bros. had moved everything and everybody over to a new job at Glenn's Ferry, and the Idaho Irrigation Co. project was completely deserted.

The once-promising young town of Alberta sat silent, worried, and waiting.

But wait! The very next day, both papers headlined: 'The Kuhn Bros. have an option to take over the old Idaho Irrigation Co. and the J.G. White Co. is standing by.'

Nine days later, on May 25, 1908, more headlines announced: 'THE J.G. WHITE CO., WORLD FAMOUS CONTRACTORS, WILL GO TO WORK AT ONCE ON THE IDAHO IRRIGATION CO. TRACT!'

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