Located along the banks of the Pecos River, Carlsbad was originally christened the Town of Eddy on September 15, 1888, and organized as a municipal corporation in 1893. With the improvement of the mineral springs north of town, and their valuable medicinal qualities, the town changed the name to Carlsbad, after the famous European spa, Karlsbad. On March 25, 1918, the Governor of New Mexico proclaimed Carlsbad as city.
With the discovery of the “Bat Cave” in 1901 and the establishment of the Carlsbad Caverns National Park on May 14, 1930, Carlsbad gained international recognition.
In 1925 potash was discovered near Carlsbad and for many years Carlsbad dominated the U. S. production of potash. With the decline in the potash market in the 1960s, the residents and leaders of Carlsbad lobbied for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Congress authorized the WIPP project in 1979 and construction of the project began in 1980. The DOE Carlsbad Area Office opened in 1993 and the first waste shipment arrived in 1999.
Today Carlsbad’s economy benefits from the strong presence of Potash mining, oil and gas extraction, healthcare and government.