Clovis, New Mexico

Carver Public Library in Clovis
Carver Public Library in Clovis
Hotel Clovis in Clovis, New Mexico

Clovis is named for the first Christian king of the Franks, supposedly because the daughter of the railroad stationmaster at the time of the town's naming was studying French and she proposed the name to replace the former appellation of "Riley's Switch," which was probably the railroaders' name for the track siding that grew into a settlement here on the Llano Estacado (the Staked Plains) in eastern New Mexico. The name was later transposed onto the Clovis culture, a significant early anthropological group that inhabited the area several thousand years ago.

The Clovis culture came on the historical scene in 1932 when Clovis native A. W. Anderson discovered the Blackwater Draw site with its "Clovis Points," just south of Clovis. Blackwater Draw is now a National Historic Landmark and has been researched by more than a dozen universities.

The Hotel Clovis (pictured to the left) opened its doors in 1931 as the tallest structure between Dallas, Texas and Albuquerque, New Mexico. For many years the hotel was supplied with patrons by the nearby Santa Fe Railroad depot. The Art Deco exterior hides a Southwestern Indian interior. Music legends Hank Williams, Tommy Dorsey, Louis Armstrong and Glen Miller played in the elegant ballroom. However, everything ground to a halt shortly after the Santa Fe Railroad discontinued passenger service to Clovis. Presently, the building is unused and often vandalized.

Clovis is in the heart of peanut and cotton farming and cattle ranching country. The area also produces a lot of dairy products. Integral to the economics of the area is Cannon Air Force Base, an installation that was slated to be closed until the DoD changed its mission to one of Special Operations training for all branches of the military.

Clovis is also famous as the home of the Norman Petty Recording Studios (NorVaJak Music, Inc.), the place where Buddy Holly & The Crickets recorded "That'll Be The Day" and "Peggy Sue," back in the 1950's. Roy Orbison also recorded here, along with Clovis' own Fireballs whose "Sugar Shack" reached #1 in 1963.

The population of Clovis is up 17% since 2000.

NorVaJak Music Studio in Clovis, New Mexico
NorVaJak Music, Inc., home of Norman Petty Recording Studios in Clovis
Fast Facts about Clovis, New Mexico
Clovis, Curry County, NM 88101, 88102
Latitude: 34.4125°N
Longitude: 103.2046°W
Incorporated: 1909
Elevation: 4,268'

High School or Higher: 77.5%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 15.7%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 5.9%
Cost of Living Index for Clovis: 82.9

2014 Estimates:
Median Household Income: $35,760
Median Home Value: $96,110
Median Resident Age: 33.1 Years
Major Industries:
Educational Services, Health Care, Lodging & Food Services, Government, Construction, Transportation Services, Social Services, Retail Services, Finance & Insurance Services
Unemployed (August 2014): 4.4%
Population Demographics: 2010
Total Population 37,775
Males 18,746
Females 19,029
Population by Age
Under 18 10,818
18 & over 26,957
20-24 2,807
25-34 5,705
35-49 6,955
50-64 5,947
65 & over 4,427
Population by Ethnicity
Hispanic or Latino 15,804
Non Hispanic or Latino 21,971
Population by Race
White 25,858
African-American 2,625
Asian 536
Native American 423
Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 43
Other 6,678
Two or more 1,612
Photo of Carver Public Library courtesy of clairz
Photo of NorVaJak Music, Inc. and the Hotel Clovis courtesy of Christian Mericle, CCA 3.0 License