During the recent board meeting of Greenfield’s Irrigation District, The Fairfield Historical Society (TFHS) asked the GID board to give their nod to allow the society to submit a request for a Special Use Permit (SUP) with the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) for the building on the west side of the current GID office building.
Earlier this year the BOR approved a name change on the original SUP for the old Sun River Project/GID office building. The original SUP named the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce as the permittee. The Fairfield Historical Society is a standalone 501 (c) 3 nonprofit.
In presenting TFHS’ plan for the second building, society board member Diane Hausmann told the GID board that the short-term plan was to use the former home as an office for the society and as short-term storage for furniture and other large items when works gets underway to make repairs and updates to the old office building. Hausmann said the society would begin by cleaning up the house right away. The process of cleanup began last Friday.
Thinking further into the future, Hausmann told the GID board that plans were to restore the home, which is part of the original Sun River Project complex of buildings that were built after the project’s main office was moved to Fairfield. Hausmann said TFHS hoped to restore the house to as close to original as possible, including the kitchen. The large front room would be available for “groups and companies to use for small meetings.” As Hausmann explained, the covered front porch creates an informal and inviting atmosphere.
Board member Sandy Johnson spoke to the GID board about the hard work that was done by Jo Brunner and John Cadigan when the Chamber of Commerce worked to establish an irrigation museum in the old office building.
TFHS board member Darryl L. Flowers spoke to the GID board regarding the vast amount of images and information that is coming to light about the development of the Sun River Project and its effect on the development of Fairfield. “Many towns erect museums to the railroad in recognition of the railroad’s impact on their town. The railroad came to Fairfield in 1916 because of the Sun River Project.”
The GID board members, after a brief discussion and a few questions for the TFHS, voted unanimously in favor of the TFHS moving forward with a SUP application.