History of Alamogordo

Founders Park - Painting
Founders Park
Founders Park Bronze

The City of Alamogordo was founded in 1898, when the El Paso and Northeastern Railroad, headed by Charles Eddy, extended the railway to the town. Charles influenced the design of the community, which included large wide thoroughfares and tree-lined irrigation canals. Charles Eddy's brother, John Eddy, named the new city Alamogordo after a grove of fat cottonwoods he remembered from the Pecos River area. When Alamogordo was laid out in 1898, the east-west streets were given numerical designations, while north-south streets were named after states. The present-day White Sands Boulevard was then called Pennsylvania Avenue.

Historic 10th St. Photo

Alamogordo Fun Facts

  • Adjacent to Holloman Air Force Base, home to the MQ-1 Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft, 49th Fighter Wing, 46th Test Group, allied fighter pilot training missions, and the German Air Force Flying Training Center. The base formerly housed the F-22A Raptor and the F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighter.
  • Alamogordo is bordered on the East by the beautiful Sacramento Mountains, home to "The Lodge" at Cloudcroft, the Sacramento Mountains Historical Museum, and the Sunspot Solar Observatory where you can see into the center of the solar system, and the home of Smokey Bear.
  • Alamogordo is the home of the friendliest, happiest folks-why not, they have it all-70 degree average annual temperature; the ability to ski in the mountains on the winter mornings and play golf that afternoon; natural beauty all around; small-town atmosphere, conveniences of a larger one.
  • Alamogordo means "fat cottonwood." Gordo = fat; alamo = poplar or cottonwood.
  • Developed as a rail junction with a nearby mountain lumber railroad in 1898.
  • Has the oldest zoo in the southwest: Alameda Park Zoo, established in 1898.
  • Home of Tularosa Basin Historical Museum, with artifacts and memories from early man to Alamogordo's entry into atomic and space age.
  • Hosts the Toy Train Depot, some 90 years old, offering train rides around Alameda Park for kids of all ages.
  • New Horizons Dome Theater and Planetarium at the NM Museum of Space History invites you to an unforgettable visual experience with its giant-screen films and planetarium shows.
  • The New Mexico Museum of Space History boasts a majestic 78-foot tall golden cube building, where the focus is placed on "hands-on experience."
  • Oliver Lee State Park, fifteen minutes South on Highway 54, is a historic site of numerous Union Army/Apache battles. Oliver Lee State Park is now enjoyed by campers, mountain climbers, photographers, and historians.
  • Our area is rich in history and natural wonders as the gateway to White Sands National Park, New Mexico Museum of Space History, New Horizons Dome Theater, and Planetarium, Lincoln National Forest, Oliver Lee State Park, Alameda Park Zoo, and the Toy Train Depot.
  • Our current population is approximately 31,635 based on the 2020 Census.
  • This is a thriving city transformed from a railroad, ranching, and farming hamlet. into a progressive vibrant community, intertwined with our military neighbors of Holloman Air Force Base and White Sands Missile Range.
  • Visit White Sands National Park, 20 minutes West of Alamogordo. The vast field of brilliant white sand dunes encompasses 275 square miles of desert and is the world's largest gypsum dune field. Sledding, playing, picnicking, walking, biking, and relaxing at the dunes hold a fascination for everyone. The Park hosts many evening programs.
  • We're neighbors with the oldest Tularosa Basin town - La Luz; founded in 1705, La Luz is a quiet village plaza surrounded by adobe homes and studios.