For nearly the first 20 years of its life, this small place near the base of the Abajo and Henry mountains, was known as Grayson. This changed when wealthy Thomas Bicknell offered a huge library of books to any town willing to take his name. In the end, another town got the name, and Blanding was so named to honor Bicknell’s wife’s maiden name, but it did get a share of the book bounty. These days the name seems fitting, as there is famously little to do around here. Many residents love it for its peaceful quality, however, and as the biggest town in San Juan County it remains vital in its own way.


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