Chaffee County administrative offices are located at 104 Crestone Avenue, Salida, CO 81201; phone: 719‑539‑2218.
The county was named for Colorado's first U.S. Senator, Jerome B. Chaffee [1825-1886].
Chaffee County was created from part of Lake County in 1879. At first, Chaffee's county seat was located at Granite, a few miles north of Buena Vista, but late in 1880 the voters decided to award Buena Vista the right to have the permanent county seat. Granite, however, was reluctant to abide by the decision of the electorate. One night in 1881 some men from Buena Vista stole into Granite under cover of darkness and with an engine and flatcar spirited the county records to Buena Vista. 
In 1928, a voter petition resulted in the removal of the county seat from Buena Vista to Salida.