In 1945, the world's first atomic bomb was tested at the Trinity Site in New Mexico. The test was part of the Manhattan Project, a secret government program to develop nuclear weapons during World War II.
Eddy County, New Mexico has a rich and diverse history that spans thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by the Apache and Navajo tribes, who relied on the land's resources for sustenance. European exploration and settlement began in the late 16th century when Spanish conquistadors arrived in search of gold and silver. They established missions and trading posts, introducing Catholicism and new technologies to the indigenous populations.

In the 19th century, Eddy County experienced significant changes due to the expansion of the United States. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 brought the region under American control, and it became part of the New Mexico Territory. The discovery of oil in the early 20th century had a profound impact on the county's development. Eddy County quickly became a major oil-producing area, attracting investment and leading to a population boom.

Eddy County played a significant role in World War II. Carlsbad Army Airfield, now known as Cavern City Air Terminal, was constructed in 1941 and served as a training base for bomber crews. Additionally, the nearby Carlsbad Caverns National Park was utilized as a storage site for sensitive materials during the war.

In more recent years, Eddy County has focused on diversifying its economy to reduce dependence on the oil industry. The tourism sector has grown, with the Carlsbad Caverns National Park attracting visitors from all over the world. The county also embraces agricultural production, particularly in dairy and pecan farming. Eddy County continues to evolve and thrive, preserving its rich history while adapting to new opportunities and challenges.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Eddy County, New Mexico.

  • 1852 - Eddy County is established as a county in the New Mexico Territory.
  • 1861 - The county seat is moved from San Jose to Karval, which is later renamed as Carlsbad.
  • 1892 - Carlsbad Caverns are named a national monument.
  • 1899 - The first commercial oil well in New Mexico is drilled in Eddy County.
  • 1918 - The construction of the Brantley Dam starts on the Pecos River to provide irrigation water for the area.
  • 1923 - Eddy County's population reaches its peak due to the oil boom.
  • 1930s - The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) builds infrastructure in Eddy County, including roads and trails.
  • 1947 - Carlsbad Caverns National Park is established, protecting the cave system.
  • 1977 - Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) opens in Eddy County for the disposal of radioactive waste.
  • 1980s - Eddy County experiences another oil boom, increasing the population and economic activity.
  • 1992 - Eddy County Historical Museum is opened in Carlsbad to preserve and showcase the region's history.
  • 2000 - The town of Loving becomes incorporated as a municipality in Eddy County.
  • 2010 - Eddy County's population surpasses 50,000 residents.