The story of Artesia is also the story of the Artesia Chamber of Commerce—both trace their roots back to the early days of the 20th century.
Artesia was incorporated in 1905. At that time, it was a small town with an economy based on farming and ranching, due to the discovery of abundant artesian well water. Almost immediately, oil and gas were also discovered (they kept leaking into the artesian wells!), and Artesia had another industry to promote.
The Artesia Chamber of Commerce was organized in the spring of 1913 at a meeting of local “live wires”, for the benefit of the community. Founding members had a “spirit of optimism and confidence in the future growth and prosperity of the valley”. The monthly dues of $5 were used for “real, solid boosting” to entice people to settle in the new town.
As Artesia’s agricultural industry flourished, early oil and gas speculators invested in numerous drilling enterprises. Although the first commercial oil well wasn’t discovered until 1924, these earlier wells produced enough oil and gas for local use, and encouraged speculators to continue to investigate Artesia’s possibilities.
The Artesia Chamber of Commerce has continued to promote Artesia as a wonderful place to live and work throughout the years, continuing the expressed purposes of its founders.
-Nancy Dunn, Artesia Historical Museum & Art Center
Quotes are from the Artesia Advocate, March 21, 1913.