Sunset at the "Aparados da Serra" (Sierra flats)

Bom Jardim da Serra dates its origins back to the early 1800's, when mule goods transporters traveled from the south, mainly Rio Grande do Sul, the neighboring State, to the State of São Paulo (over 1,500 kilometers (over 930 miles), depending on the whereabouts they left), to take their merchandise to sell or trade, and bring back non-existent items in their home regions. They usually took jerked beef, raw-hide, cheese, animal fat, pine tree beans, cattle, horses, pigs and mules, and brought back fabrics, salt, manioc flour, sugar, rice, kerosene, guns and ammunition.

As these trips were extremely long, they used to stop to rest their mules, other livestock and themselves in pre-programmed places which suited their needs. As Bom Jardim da Serra (under a different name then) was the spot right on the top of the hill and very close to the descending of the Rio do Rastro Sierra, which was extremely dangerous and caused many mules and other animals to fall off the cliff, dying and losing their precious load, the mulemen camped here to regain strength and get ready for the descent, which could take as long as five days depending upon the weather.
This camping ground soon became a small village which developed fast, as it was an obligatory stopping point for those who wished to go down the Sierra, seabound, heading to the São Paulo State.

These caravans' destinations were, in most instances, the cities of Sorocaba and Piracicaba, cities where they could find almost everything they needed to bring back to their hometowns.

As the need for lumber grew, and as Bom Jardim was blessed with gigantic areas of wild pinetrees, between 1949 and 1967 the extraction of such lumber was highly profitable for landowners, and many lumber companies flocked in to cut down trees, board them and export them to other states and even abroad.
During this time many jobs were created, and the local commerce grew tenfold pushed by the huge amounts of money that flowed in and allowed all sectors to flourish.
However, as any other uncontrolled extraction from the nature, in just a little less than twenty years wood was completly depleted, and the fields became nothing more than empty fields.
Of course, as soon as the lumber extraction was reduced, the sawmill owners moved out from the city, leaving behind a legion of unemployed men and women, and the local commerce at the edge of sheer bankrupcy (and this was the final destiny of the majority of the retail shops, supermarkets, etc.).  Nowadays the local commerce does not reflect a bare minimum of what it used to be. Education was also severely affected as good teachers moved out, looking for improved living conditions for their families.

The landscape in this area is mostly rocky, which makes it difficult to develop regular agricultural projects. The soil allows for some good pasture fields, though.
Some small landonwers learned that the soil and altitude would make good environment for apple plantation, as it happens in other parts of the State, and decided to invest in this field, achieving great success.
Nowadays apple is the leading product with good profits to the planters and others involved, in Bom Jardim da Serra.
Cattle raising comes in second. Another product which has developed well here is the potato, which comes third in line of best investment/profits.
Surveys have shown that the soil is very adequate for vineyards, and tests have proven it will certainly be a good investment in the near future.
The local City Hall authorities are undertaking studies, along with State Agriculture Divisions, to make it possible for local farmers and others who may decide to invest in this area, to have long-term financing available, thus allowing for one more source of income for the population.

The City of Bom Jardim da Serra was created on March 05, 1967. Before that date it was dependent of São Joaquim, a neighboring city, 41 kilometers (25.6 miles), westbound in direction to Lages.