The history of San Juan County goes back to what is properly
called prehistory, in that there was no written record left for us to
ponder today. Ancestral
Pueblo peoples lived in the area many hundreds of years ago, and
have left many ruins as evidence of their occupation. Today, we can
visit Salmon Ruins,
National Monument, Chaco Culture
National Historical Park, and other sites to get a taste of the
lives of those early inhabitants.
Early Spanish visits to the area date from around the time of the
American Revolution. Friars Francisco
Atanasio Domínguez and Silvestre
Vélez de Escalante were seeking a route between Santa Fe and
the California missions. However, settlement did not occur to any great
degree until 1876, when the area was opened for homesteading.
About 1870, Farmingtown
(later, Farmington) was established, and Aztec became an
established community soon after. The county was formed from Rio Arriba
County in 1887, and Aztec has been the designated county seat since
Apple-growing was a major industry in the county's first several
decades. During that period, there were a number of oil and gas
booms, with the largest in 1950. Recreation is also a major
industry for the area, with three rivers (La Plata, Animas, and San
Juan), nearby high mountains, wilderness areas, and the aforementioned
ruins, among other opportunities.
(Thanks to Marilu Waybourn for help with this account.)
About the GenWeb Project:
In March and April of 1996, a
group of genealogists organized the Kentucky Comprehensive Genealogy
Database Project. The idea was to provide a single entry point for all
counties in Kentucky, where collected databases would be stored. In
addition, the databases would be indexed and cross-linked, so that,
even if individuals were found in more than one county, they could be
located in the index.
At the same time, volunteers were found who were willing to coordinate
the collection of databases and generally oversee the contents of
the web page.
In June, as the Kentucky project was nearing completion, it was decided
to start a page for each of the remaining states, and, as with the
Kentucky project, volunteers were found to host the state pages.
I encourage all those doing research in this county to become involved
in the program. Your help will be most welcome. Your help toward
disseminating genealogical information about this county and others is
needed and will be appreciated. Please E-mail me with articles, broken
links, photos, resource lists, etc.