Friday, May 6, 2011

Abandoned buildings near Chesterfield, Idaho

Chesterfield is a well-known restored agricultural ghost town in southeast, Idaho. Our photos of the town can be found here: I recently spent a day with photography friend Bruce Grayum exploring lesser known abandoned buildings in Gem Valley not far from Chesterfield.

The big surprise was this wonderful old school, "Hatch School 1915" according to the sign.  I thought I knew the area pretty well but had no idea this was here.  The schoolyard is used for farm equipment and hay storage now.

The snow is about gone so the fields surrounding this log homestead are being prepared for planting.

Many farms were abandoned because of the harsh winters, strong winds, and the shortage of water in dry years. Equipment like this disc harrow was sometimes left behind.

These windows were part of a much newer, shingled house that even had electricity and running water at one time.  The ruins of a nearby log cabin gave us a clue that this house was the second one on this site.

An old Diamond T truck lies abandoned near the shingled house.  The photo was converted to black and white using a filter function in my Pentax K20D camera. I'm sure there is more to be found and photographed in beautiful Gem Valley, Idaho.


  1. I would like to know where exactly the school house is located and how I might find out who owns the property.

  2. Porter: Go to Bancroft, near Soda Springs, and look for a sign near the railroad tracks to Chesterfield. Several miles from Bancroft turn right (east) on Hatch Loop. There are two intersections with Hatch Loop, and I think it is the first one. The school will be about a mile on your left. I have no idea who the owners are, but there is a house across the street and it is probably on their land. I have gone on the property to photograph it without anyone bothering me, but the last time, there was a closed gate, so I stayed out. Photography is tough because the area in front of the building is used for hay bale storage. If you learn anything more about access, I would appreciate it if you would return the favor and keep me informed.