Farmington [†] is located sixty-one miles southeast of the point where New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah meet, known as the Four Corners region. Long before the first Anglo-American settler arrived in the region, the San Juan Valley was occupied by groups of hunters and seed gatherers. Paleo-Indian sites, although rare in the Four Corners area, indicate short-term encampments as early as 3000 BC. The first permanent shelters in the area were pithouses erected around 350 AD by the Anasazi. The apogee of the Anasazi culture extended from 1050 to 1300 and concentrated in the Four Corners area where Chaco Canyon and Aztec Ruins in New Mexico and Colorado's Mesa Verde National Historic Parks and Monuments are located.
Anglo-American settlement, moving south from Colorado's mines and ranches, first located on the Farmington Peninsula formed by the Animas and San Juan rivers where Billy Boran established a home site in 1875. This town site was later abandoned. In 1879, A. F. Stump, F. M, Pierce, A. F. Miller, and William Markely established homesites on higher ground in the area called "Totah," Navajo meaning "three waters" as the Juan, La Plata and Animas rivers converge to the northwest and southwest of Farmington's town center.
In 1895, the San Juan Times heralded Farmington as, "One of the Garden Spots of the World." The town incorporated in 1901, and by 1905 Farmington's commercial development pattern along Main Street was established.
† Claudia Smith, Claudia Smith Preservation Planning Consultant, Farmington Downtown Historic Commercial District, nomination document, 2001, National Regisster of Historic Places, Washington, D..