Carlsbad was originally founded as the town of Eddy in 1888, and was incorporated under the same name in 1893. It wasn't until 1899 that townspeople voted to change the name to Carlsbad to reflect the growing commercial development of local mineral springs for medicinal purposes (the town was named after the famous European spa Carlsbad, Bohemia). Most of the town's early development focused on utilizing irrigation water, with many projects (like the construction of the Avalon Dam) being undertaken to establish the town's irrigation system.
Most of Carlsbad's early construction efforts were also completed with locally manufactured bricks that were soft and of poor quality. The former First National Bank building at the corner of Canal and Fox streets is one of the few remaining buildings constructed with this local brick. In 1901, local cowboys re-discovered Carlsbad Caverns, and the town gained increased recognition when the Carlsbad Caverns National Park was established in 1930.
Carlsbad maintains a variety of attractions including: