Not first try for Bluff City
Bluff residents will vote in the upcoming election on whether or not to incorporate. San Juan County’s oldest settlement may become its youngest town. (Of course, there have been people living in San Juan County for thousands of years, but the 1880 settlement of Bluff was the first settlement by settlers.)
This is not the first attempt to incorporate the town. In fact, Bluff was an incorporated town in the mid 1970s.
On July 6, 1976, after a weekend spent celebrating the nation’s bicentennial, a group of Bluff residents asked the San Juan County Commission to approve the incorporation of the town.
The request was accompanied by a petition that included the signatures of more than 130 Bluff residents and property owners. Commissioners approved the petition and the City of Bluff was created.
To get started, a town board was appointed. It was led by President George Hatch and included Cathryn Cook, Betty Vigil, Ed Carlson, and Paul McPherson.
The next year, a formal election was held and Inez Wilson – a write-in candidate – was selected as the first Mayor of Bluff. The City Council included Opal Hooper, Linn McCleary, Paul McPherson, and Jim Taylor.
The appointed and the subsequent elected town board pursued the creation of a sewer system for the community. The newly elected board outlined their strategy at their first meeting in January, 1978.
The new community seemed to be on its way, but there were problems developing. Less than two months later, on February 28, 1978, a petition was submitted in district court calling for the disincorporation of Bluff. After working through the court system, Judge Omar Bunnell sent the issue to the voters.
In a special election on September 12, 1978, Bluff citizens voted 67-44 to dis-incorporate the community.