Eloy is an agricultural/travel/commercial center located along the
growth corridor between Phoenix and Tucson. In 1902, the
Southern Pacific Railroad built a switch about six miles west of
Picacho, which they named Eloy.
In 1918, W.L. Bernard, J.E. Meyer and John Alsdorf purchased
the east half of the Eloy section and drilled a well. They subdivided
the land and called it Cotton City. They also bought land west of
Eloy and divided it into tracts for raising cotton. In 1919 an application
was made for a post office, but the name Cotton City was
rejected in favor of Eloy. The Pinal County community incorporated
Eloy, at an elevation of 1,568 feet, lies in the Santa Cruz Basin,
one of the state's most fertile agricultural areas. More than 100,000
acres in the valley are irrigable, producing cotton, grains, vegetables
and citrus. Cattle ranching is also important.
Eloy, which is midway between Phoenix and Tucson on
Interstate 10, is a stopping place for travelers on the highway which
stretches from Florida to California. Its location on the main line of
the Southern Pacific Railroad, and on I-10 near the junction with I-8,
makes it attractively situated for industries where transportation is a
Skydive Arizona, one of the largest skydiving centers in the
nation, is at Eloy Municipal Airport. Local industries include P.D.M.
Strocal, Glass tile west, a division of Raven Industries, Marley Cooling
Towers, Inc., Hasa Chemical, Arizona Wood Preservatives, and
Eloy is a participant in the Rural Economic Development
Initiative (REDI) program of the Arizona Department of Commerce.
REDI builds capacity for economic growth by stimulating participation
in local economic development organizations. All of Pinal
County is a designated Enterprise Zone.
Picacho Peak is the site of the only Civil War battle in Arizona.
The battle is re-enacted each spring. Mt. Newman and the rest of
the Picacho Mountains offer a beautiful panorama to the east of
Eloy. The Saw tooth Mountains have a very distinctive profile to the
south and west. There are abundant facilities for tourists and residents
alike at Picacho Peak State Park and the surrounding area.
Another point of historic interest is the Casa Grande National
Monument, 15 miles north of Eloy. Picacho Reservoir offers fine fishing
with abundant dove and quail hunting in season, as well as bird
watching for many rare species.
Water enthusiasts enjoy several man-made lakes to the northeast,
where they can fish, swim and water ski nearly all year. The
metropolitan areas of Tucson and Phoenix offer a wide variety of
attractions. Sunland Visitors Center is open Monday through
Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Toltec Rd. & state Highway 84).