In an irrigated valley of Rio Grande on Missouri Pacific Railroad, the town was organized in 1909. The name was derived from the Spanish name given to town organizer John Closner. One of the South's largest plants for manufacturing concrete irrigation pipe is here. Colorful banks of scarlet bougainvillea edge the highway. On special days, San Juan invites visitors to "pick a grapefruit" free. Bed-and-breakfast accommodations are offered in historic buildings.