More than a century ago, brothers Charles Bishop Eddy and John Arthur Eddy—organizers of the El Paso and Northeastern Railroad— arrived in the brand new town of Alamogordo, hoping to continue the rail line. Because they needed railroad ties and timber, the brothers sent a survey crew into the nearby Sacramento Mountains to assess the possibility of laying a line that reached the summit. In the fall of 1898, the crew reported that not only could a line be built, the area's majestic beauty would draw visitors from far and wide. The crew suggested the name Cloudcroft,“a pasture for the clouds.”
By the end of 1898, the railroad line reached Toboggan Canyon. The following summer, John Arthur Eddy officially opened the Pavilion at the summit that provided accommodations for visitors including a kitchen, dining room, parlor, entertainment hall and 40 tents set on wooden platforms. Guests attended the festivities by taking the train to Toboggan Canyon and then a stagecoach up to Cloudcroft. The new resort received rave reviews in El Paseo and other area newspapers, and crowds began to visit the area. Fire twice destroyed the Pavilion but it was rebuilt each time in its original style.
The railroad line reached Cloudcroft in early 1900 and after the depot was built, “meeting the train” became a daily festivity in the village. Three trains pulled in to Cloudcroft daily to carry passengers and mail and haul logs down the mountain. Eventually, cars and trucks began to replace the trains, resulting in the railroad's loss of money and eventual showdown. The last passenger train pulled in to the station in 1938 and the final freight train descended the hill in 1947.
Cloudcroft has changed little across the decades, retaining its famous friendly, small-town atmosphere. Visitors travel here from around the country as well as the world to enjoy the laid-back atmosphere, pristine wilderness and all the amenities of modern life.