The village of Bloomfield was originally settled in the early 1870’s. Prior to settlement, the area was inhabited by the Native Americans. Exploration was conducted by the Spaniards, and as the early settlers moved in, the tensions became high. Just like the old western movies, early Bloomfield had its share of outlaws, saloons and excitement. Back then, farming and ranching were the main industries of the valley. As stories are told, when you mix the farmers with the ranchers…that’s when the excitement begins.
Actually, the real excitement hit town during the 1950’s. Oil, coal and gas reserves were found in the San Juan Basin. A host of oil and gas-related companies set up operations in the area, and, of course, those companies needed workers. The population exploded from 3,500 to 37,000 people.
To this day, the oil and gas industries contribute greatly to the economy of Bloomfield and San Juan County. But the area has developed a balance of businesses in manufacturing, transportation, resource extraction, energy generation, agriculture, retail and services.
Bloomfield is located in the middle of an area rich in prehistoric history. The Bisti Wilderness Area has long attracted men of science looking for answers to our past. It’s also a must visit for shutterbugs in search of that one scene to photograph that will be etched in the soul of mankind for eternity.
Bloomfield is also centrally located for visiting Native American sites. Chaco Cultural National Historic Park, Salmon Ruin Indian and Archaeological Park, Aztec Ruins National Monument, and the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde National Park are all nearby. A visit to these historical sites will take you back in time to an era of life that is almost unimaginable today.
Bloomfield is situated in the midst of Native American tribal lands. The Navajo, the Jicarilla Apache, the Southern Ute, and the Ute Mountain reservations are among those reservations closest to Bloomfield. Area trading posts and shops serve as an outlet for Native American jewelry, rugs, pottery, and baskets.
Visitors and residents alike are astounded by the numerous attractions, historic sites, beautiful mountains and scenic desert vistas that are so easy to access from Bloomfield. We no longer hear the sounds of gunfights and saloon brawls, but occasionally you may witness an argument about who makes the best chili salsa. One has to wonder what Bloomfield will be like in twenty more years.