Loren Smith stood by an old log home with a shovel as a video crew shot a segment for the National Geographic Channel show “Diggers” Wednesday at the Historic Chesterfield site.
Smith, the Chesterfield Foundation president, jokingly said he hopes the crews find an old mason jar filled with change.
“These aren’t the first people who have come with metal detectors,” Smith said. “For years and years, things were being packed off that were probably better artifacts.”
The video crews found a few “common” items from the early Mormon settlers during the morning of the first day’s shoot at the preserved and restored townsite north of Bancroft. The crew was slated to look at a few other interesting sites around among the area, one of the sites included a grave that was missing the top of it’s head stone.
“The restoration process taking place in Chesterfield needs exposure because Chesterfield is kind of a dead-end destination,” Smith said. “If you come to Chesterfield you meant to come here. You just didn’t drive down the road and say lets stop and look at it.”
According to Half Yard Productions spokeswoman Bronagh Hanley, the show works with various state societies, historians and archeologists from around the country to find unique and interesting places. The show is slated to air sometime this fall.
Hanley said she did not know specifically why Chesterfield was selected for the show, but said sites are usually researched to find something unique or interesting.
“(We) put out a call to different folks around the country,” Hanley said. “All of those folks all have huge networks of people. ... There had to be something that caught attention enough to send us a crew out there.”
Bancroft’s Pearl Mickelsen and Grace’s Allyne Crossley are among the ancestors of Chesterfield settlers volunteering as tour guides this summer. Both members of the Chesterfield Foundation, they believed having a national television crew would bring greater publicity to the tourist stop that sees more than 10,000 visitors annually.
“I think it’s fantastic,” said 62-year-old Crossley. “We’ve been looking forward to it when we got wind they might come.”
Mickelsen said a number of groups have come through including an archeological team from Brigham Young University more than a decade ago and an Oregon Trail reenactment team, but nothing on this scale.
“This is really good advertisement,” said 71-year-old Mickelsen. “They’ll do a half hour program sometime (this fall).”