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The San Juan times. (Farmington, N.M.) 1891-1900, August 02, 1895, Image 8

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fertile Soil Abundant Water and
Other Inducements OfTerod
to Home Seekers.
Sun: N. M. Bureau of Iicaiitiration Report.
This county is one of the garden
spots of the world, and lies on the
western slope of the great conti
nental divide, being; part of the Pa
cific water-shed. Aside fiwm its great
sesources as an agricultural and stock
QPUL'try its scenery is very beautifujs
On all Bidea great rocky masses,
broken into picturesque formations,
are to be seen across wide, fertile
valievs. The county is watered,, by
three large rivrs, and from their
junction below Farimogton the view
is grand and impressive.
In this valley, from a point about
len miles above Largo, there is a
yarrow strip of bottom laud on each
aide of the river. At the town of
Largo the river bottom widens out
into rolling mesas and bottom lands
which are available for cultivation.
The most important of these tracts
are known as ihe Bloomtield and Sol
omon mesas, which, with the bottom
lands uuder them, will aggregate
Ubniewhat over 20.000 acres. They
are on the north side cf the vvtvr.
From thence to the junction of the
Animas, the mesa lands are broken
nto detached plateaus rather difficult
to irrigate. The Animas and La
Plata empty into tho ban Juan near
Farmington. Ou Vie two points of
land formed by the rivers are about
12,000 or 15,000 aor.es of tine laud all
under ditch. Beginning then at tho.
mouth of the La Plata, and for twenty
miles down the San J.uan, to where i .
it breaks through the Hogback, (a
line of low hills) there is a continu
ous series of mesas with about a mile
wide of bottom-land A little over
B3,000'her,e are now under ditcb. To
the north of this are a series, of high
meadows,, or vegas, estimated to con
tain 44,000 acres. Besides this, and
to be properly considered in the San
Jaiau basin, are the lands oft either
side ot the Canon Largo, (!anon
Blanco and Canon Gallego, These
will include tha land along the river
p.pd down to the sixth correction
Hne,,ncrth; south of this line there
are twenty-four townships of land,
the water facilities ot which are only
8bout the average of the arid region.
They are covered by the headwaters
of the Rio Chaco or Ohtisco and, the
Amarillo. At pr,esput this land is
devoted to cattle and sheep raising,
but tlie prospects of using a consid
erable area of this land for agriculture
ore vtry favorable. At present there
id no demand for it and most of it is
public land.
It may be said, therefore, that in
the immediate San Juan valley, there
are about 00.000 acres of land, about
50.000 acres of which are now uuder
diicti, A large area outside of this,
on tb 3 hi;:h mesas, is susceptible of
irrigation, and will ultimately be
added to the irrigable area by means
of high line ditches.
were brought to this place there is
no better piece of land for raising
deciduous fruits. It is protected,
fertile and beautiful.
The La Plata river npws in a deep,
sandy bed, and its waters generally
disappear in the last week in August
or tbe tirst week of September. On
the upper part of this river after it
enters San Juan county there are
about 8000 acres cultivated; and at
Jackson, near lis mid-course, there is
a small Hcjrnon colony, who till
about 1000. acres. The river has an
average Sail of forty feet to the milo,
is aboai thirty feet wide and has a
mean average flow of about 250 cubic
feet per second. The ultimate rs
clamation of lands in the La Plata
nalley will be large.
It will be seeu from the foregoing
that there are available from these
three rivers 6250 cubio feet of water
per 6econd. At the low estimate of
160 acres to each cubic foot, this is
sufficient to irrigate 1,000,000 acres
of land. According to a county
pamphlet issued for circulation at
the World's fair, there a?e 175,000
acres available for irrigation. In
addition to the value of t'ne water for
irrigation, it is a constant source of
water power. The San Juan and
Animas aze constant streams, not
affected bj tmeinostenduringdaoutb.
The wasted, power c- their waters
would furnish heat, light and elec
trical motive force far in excess of
any possible need of this county. At
present the only use made of all this
wealth of water is to irrigate about
25,000 acres, the larger part of which
is uuder ditches owned by small asso
ciations of farmers.
The Animas river enters the county
just est of the 108th meridian. It
is formed by the junction of two im
portant torrential streams, aud will
irrigate, if properly handled, 40,000
acres of fruit land. Of this amount
10.000. or 12,000 acres are af4ly
under ditch, aud it would not be wise
to advise large settlement ou any
now lanus, unless some scnema wera
devised by which the whole amount
of the water could be handled by
some comprehensive authority. This
river flews thirty miles within San
Juan county. Tho faming lands
begin at Cox's crossing and take in a
strip varying from a quarter of a
mile to three miles in width and
about twenty -live miles in length.
The Animas has a minimum flow of
2000 cubic feet per second. One of
tho pocnliaiitiet- of this and, tlie San
Juan iuver is that the bottoms are
composed of bods of small, round,
water-worn boulders jf unknown
depth. More water Hows in this
boulder bed than on the Burface.
Along in the river valley proper
there are about 18.000 acres of good
land, the most important area of
which is from Aatec to below Flora
Vista. o
Besides the valley of the AjnmaB
there is an important area of land
included in the Farmington Glade,
an introvale between the Animas and
La Plata rivers. It ia a strip of
country two or three miles wide by
eighteen miles long. It will aggre
gate 25,000 acres of good irrigable
land well adapted to fruit raising.
In the glade, and beginning at about
the latitude of Aztec, ia a fine body
of public land, subject to desert
hind entry, that would make homes
for a smnM colony. The ditch would
be comparatively inexpensive as a
natural opening in the hillside affords
iasyeiitranoe to the glade. If wa.ter
The mideya civilisation has fol
lowed the same lines of settlement as
did the ancient. Aztec is the county
seat, situated ou the southeast bank
of the Animas. It has a bank, several
hu'ire stores, hotel and livery, and
stage stables. The county jail' ie a
well built, steel lined adobe structure.
The suarounding country is well
cultivated, the farms extending ap
aud down tha river for several miles
At this point the valley is about two
miles wide. Fruit, alfalfa, graiu,
potatoes and all the root crops give
abundant harvests. Apples and to
matoes seem peculiarly adapted to
tbe soil. Tbe population of the town
and surrounding country, is between
550 and 000 persons.
This little village and vicinity has
a population of about 250 souls. It
is situated at about the widest part
of the Animas valley, seven miles
from Az.tec, raises the same crops
and its orchards are spreading; al
falfa fields have a particularly good
Farmington and J unction Cityf are
situated at the mouth of the Animas.
Tbe population is about the same as
at Aztec, Tbe location is very beaur
tiful. Atthkpoint the full scenic
beauty of tbe valley reveals itself.
From a little- hill overlooking the
town a solid plantation oi three or
four square qjles, including orchards,
alfalfa tieids-, grain and meadow is
seen. Here is at present the densest
population of the county and the
widest spread of cultivation. The
throe valleys here conwge into tbe
main valley of the San Juan. Thore
are several good stores, public stables,
good-, schools and general facilities.
Near this town are located several
brick kilns, a saw mill and a roller
process fkmr mill. It is a very pretty,
go-ahead place. Its citizens are full
of energy anclpublia Bpiriit.
Tbie town may be considered the
center of population on the upper
San Juan. Taking in with it the
little settlement on Pine river and at
Bloomtield, the population ie between
1000 and 1200 persons, tbe majority
of whom are of Spanish descent.
Tdie high culture of the fields, or
chards and vineyards speaks well fjr
tbe progress of tho community.
Olio, Fruitland and Jewett are sit
uated on the Sau Juan below its
junction with the La Plata. The
population of the three is about 600
persons. The greater; part of the
land is under a tine modern canal
and in a high state of cultivation. At
Fruitland is one small orchard of
seven acres from which tbe annual
net return baa been over $2,500 per
annum for the past five years. This
ia the property of the resident Mor
mon bishop and is cultivated accord
ing to the theory, of his people that a
small place well oared', for is more
valuable than broad acreage poorly
farmed. It in one of the best instances
of intensive cultuje in the territory.
Li- I'LATV.,
Tais place can hardly be called a,
tpwn. It is a compact farming com
munity, however, of about seventy
well cultivated homesteads at the
head of the La Plata valley. On the
western side the land rises in three
terraces, one over the other, every
one or which is highly cultivated.
The sight would remipd one more of
a French landscape than a western
commnnity as yet removed from
railroads, and ten years ago given
over to the Indians as a hunting
ground. Alfalfa and fruit are the
principal productions. This part of
the county is a very picture in its
picturesque fertility. The Aztecs
also thought well of it, and many of
their monuments in the shape of
rudely pictured and sculptured rocks
Tha first trees were planted in this
county ten years ago, and as an ex
periment seemed very doubtful. The
tirst settlers were principally cattle
men, who knew little about farming.
They profited by their tirst mistakes,
however, and prospered, sa that the
reputation of these valleys is known
all over the southwest. The southern
towns of Oolarado, outside the Saa
Luis valley, are almost wholly sup
plied front tbe San Juan orchards.
So remunerative has fruit culture
proved that iu 1891 23.000 trees were
planted, and in 1892 about 50,000
Tho plantiug of 1893 is not yet ac
curately known, but will show a ratio
of progress. Last year at the Albu
Ofue!:qna Territorial fair tbe fruits of
this county took the sweepstakes
prize. The peaches in Bome instaucts
measured nine inches in circumfer
ence, apples thirteen to fourteen
inches and weighed sixteen to nioe
teen ounaes. Single acres of fruit
land retuan from $400 to $500 ;; and
in one orchard near Farmington are
three trees, of whose yield an ac
curate account has betn kept for four
years past, that show an average re
turn of $53 per tree.
Cereals of all kinds are grown here,
wheat yielding 20 to 4') bushels per
!acre; oats, 30 to 80 bushels; barley, 150
to 60 bphels; rye, 15,to 30 bushels;
corn, 25 to 50 bushels. A ready sale
is found at good paice3. Current
prices for 1893 w?vo ns follows:
Wheat, per cwt., $1.40; oats, $1.50;.
barley, $1.40y corn, $1.50; bran, per
ton, $18, Vegetables of every variety
flourish, from the hardier varieties,
such as Irish potatoes, turnips and
beets, to the more tender melons, egg
plants, tomatoes, etc.
Is, ho wow, the staple crop in this j
county; drouth is not to be feared
and neither, frost nor cold endanger
it. Oiwjkig to tho advantageous situ
ation of the county the farmers have
taken to fatteuiug beef cattle. For
this purpose the sales of alfalfa are
large, frequently amounting to from
500 to 1000 tons to a single buyer.
From 1891 to 1892 the increase in
alfalfa production amounted 7000
tons. The averave yield per acre is
from 4 to 10 tons.
This whole county is underlaid
with coal. The beds have cot been
prospected to any extent. They are
known, however to contain almost
unlimited quantities of coal. On the
San Juan riveiv, opposite Fruitland.
is a truly notable exposure of this val
uable fuel. It stands above the rivei
34 feet and is over 300 feet long, aud
extends back into the bluff 04:a ven
slight dip, it is supposed for miles, to-
there is an immense mesa stretching
in that direction. Immediately across
on the north side of the river othei
huge beds appear, and these then
stretch up.tiie La Plata for nearh
fifty miles. This coal is a hard, free
burning quality. An experienced
Cornwall miner, who is working one
of these veins on the La Plata, says
he never saw mines so easily opened
or, that so quickly yielded good mer
chantable coal. All that seems to be
necessary, is to strip the- outer layer,
which has beeu exposed to the
weatbei for ages, and the fine, glit
tering material; is found, free from
slate or "bone"" and ready for use.
Some difference of opinion exists ai
to the quality of this coal, but tbe
bureau of immigration can state on
the authority of its agent that it is I 3
of a good coking charaater. Some of
it, in hie presence, wa:v covered! with
eand and fired' on the ground and in
a short time-waB roasted into a line
silver coke with a ring like metal.
The coal in this county is usually
found in a thick strata between slate
ana sandstoue of a very fine g?ain.
It is said: that gold and metallic
iron can be found; and the bes1
building stone, both sandstone and
granite, abound. The best mining
camps of Colorado and splendid min
eral belts in New. Mexico are contig
uous. Wheu railroads penetrate
this county the neighborhood of Olio
will afford splendid opportunities foi
large smelters.
'Sinoe the foregoing wax published by tho bu
reau of immigrBUoii, the tlnur -wll wan destroyed
by fire, but will be rebuilt this summer.
tJunctivn City is just across tbe Animas frore
Farming loo, but depends oq Farmington mer
chants for supplies.
Patented land with water can be
bad at from $15 to $50 per acre. Be
sides this there are thousands of
acres of government land that can be,
had for the cost of filing on it.
Among tbe many enterprises which
would nourish in ilia county may be
mentioned a wool scouring plant and
woolen mills. Water and coal are
abundant and free. The only ex
pense will be io developing.
Crops and Prices of 1893.
"The following table shows the fruit
yield of the county and average mar
ket price of 1893:
Wheat, busheh.....
Oatt "
Harley '
Potatoes " ... ..
Onions "
Tomatoes" .....
Apples, pounds
Peaches, "
Penis " .....
Plums "
Cherries "
(iraues " ,
Strawberries, quarts,..
1 a3yterrios " ...
HlsoUberries "
'ihrraxts "
.dooaeborries "
15.0 0
S .
Besides the produce mentioned in
the foregoing table the county pro
duced 85.000 pounds of hmey at an
average price of 12J cents a pound,
and; 30:000 tons of alfalfa hay which
averaged S5.pev ton.
Questions Answered,
Irrigation is tho- beBt means of fer
tilizing land.
Every kind" of deciduous fruit can
be raised here.
As a fruit raising oountry tae San
Juan has no equal,
Water cau be put on arid land ab a
cost of- from $2 to $15 per aore.
New Mexico took first prizo for
wheat at the World's fairs and second
for oats.
The last census gives ubiety acnes
as the average size of an irrigated:
farm in New Mexico.
As a health resort for persons with
weak ltiugs San Juau county has
few peers and no superiors.
Kongh lumber here is worth $2f
per thousand. .iSrick $8 per thousand
and lime 40 cents per bushel
Fire clay is found in large qnnnii-1
ties on tbe lower San Juan, and a tine
quality of fire brick can be manufac
tured at a nominal coat.
Experts pronounce the San Juac
coal as a steam producing coal fax
above the average, if not the very
best quality in the world.
Any information relative to tho
county not given in the columns of?
Tue Times, will be cheerfully fur
nished upon application to the pub
lisher. Water rights in company ditches
cost from $2 to 215 per acre, with an
additional cost of from $1 to 'J an
nually per acre to pay for repairs, lai
most cases this annual assessment
can be worked out.
Sheep do well in this. county. Scab
and other sheep diseast-s are unknown
here.. Thousands oi acres of gov
ernment land are contiguous to the
streams and watering places on which
they can graze nearly every month in
the year. Large bunches of the
wethers can be fattened on alfalfa
hay daring the winter, and the mam
flocks- aarned over on it at a small,
cost, thus making- sheep raising a
profitable ind ustry. The native sheep
make a most excellent cross to breed
tbe mutton producing strains of east
em sheep to.
A tannery is needed and would be
a good investment in this county.
There are over 500,000 acres of cana
agna growing wild here. It yields
as high per acre as ten Ions wild and
from thirty tons upwar&nnder culti
vation. This- plant contains-33 per
cent oi tannic acid, the highest aver
age of any known agent. The tan
nery would be furnished with a home,
supply of tanning matter without
the cost of a cent of freight. Ttiia
cana-agria is being shipped to Europe
at a cost of between $80 and IIOO
per ton, several firms there using it
for the preparation of their best
grades of leather.
IS you. want to know more, about the
Ollll J
In the World
Read tlie Times
juiuiiiasBSsassttiisiuuissaassiis Misaiyassaaajj''
i 4
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Omnk MM - tti.
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treatment and guarauteed cure) $2. 55k For sale by all druggists or will be sent,
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Office of The Pioneer Brass Oompany, O. W. Hornick, Supt. )
St.JRaulMion., Sept 7, 1894. '
Eurfkn Chemical and MTgCcv, UCrosM. Wil.
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