Richfield, Utah

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Richfield is a city in and the county seat of Sevier County, Utah, in the United States, and is the largest city in southern-central Utah. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 6,847. It lies in the Mormon Corridor, just off of Interstate 70 about 40 miles east of its junction with Interstate 15. The county can be best described as "rural diversified" due to the convergence of agricultural, retail and industrial activities. One of Richfield's regional roles is that it lies on the Interstate freeway almost precisely halfway between Los Angeles and Denver. Many travelers between the two cities stop in Richfield to eat, get fuel, or spend the night.

Though not large, Richfield is remote from larger cities. One has to travel about 100 miles or more in any direction to reach a more populous town, while dozens of less populous communities are found in the general area. Its remoteness, plus its location on major transportation corridors, makes it central Utah's defacto regional capital, a shopping and "commercial capital of a vast mountain-valley region."[3] Many people travel to Richfield to shop, bowl, golf, to attend theater, concerts, or for religious gatherings. They are also drawn to the Community College, affiliated with Snow College, and to receive medical care. Richfield is part of "Panoramaland", and is a thoroughfare to several nearby National Parks and Forests.

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Settlement history

Prehistoric people occupied the Richfield area for more than 7,000 years. Fremont culture remains are found near most community sites in the Sevier area and are dated from approximately CE 1 to CE 1000. During the late 1820s, Jedediah Smith and other fur traders crossed the area. Sevier County lies on the Old Spanish Trail between Santa Fe, New Mexico and California and was used by travelers between 1830 and 1850.

In the early part of January 1864 a party of ten men under the leadership of Albert Lewis came from Sanpete County, Utah and arrived in what is now Richfield. The Mormon settlers found fertile soil, good water and wood in the nearby hills. They decided that it was a desirable site for a settlement. These pioneers made a dwelling place for all ten men, which they called 'The Hole in the Ground.' They carefully covered this hole with brush willows and other materials and made a crude chimney of rocks. This dugout was located on today's Main Street. These men spent the remainder of the winter in this dwelling, planning and preparing for the time when they could bring their families.

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