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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 tracks 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 irritable, 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. It’s 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).
In 1902, the Southern Pacific Railroad built a switch about six miles west of the town of Picacho. The railroad named the switch Eloy. There is an unusual and hard to believe it is true story about the naming of the town. It is said that as the train passed through the area, a railroad employee glanced out the window and said, “Eloi.” This phrase in Spanish refers to the biblical “Eli, Lama Sabachthani?” meaning “My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
Years later in 1918, W.L. Bernard, J.E. Meyer, and John Alsdorf purchased the land east of Eloy. They drilled a well and subdivided the land. They proceed to call it Cotton City. Eventually, they also bought the land west of Eloy. This section of land, they divided into tracts for farming cotton.
In 1919, an application was submitted for the establishment of a post office. The name Cotton City was used, but it was rejected. The name Eloy was given to the town.
Eloy was incorporated in 1949. Agriculture plays a large role in the town’s economy. However, it is working on developing an industrial base. It is growing town with residents that are optimistic about the future.
There is a terrific attraction just 15 miles to the north of Eloy, near the town of Coolidge. The Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is the tallest and largest Hohokam building known to exist. The monument is a four-story structure built in 1350 A.D. by the Hohokam Indians. The monument covers 427-acres and is a must see stop.
Eloy has several outdoor activities. The Picacho Reservoir offers fishing and bird watching. There are many rare species of birds that are attracted to this area. The Ocotillo Raceway is a unique motocross race track stretching one mile in length. Riders will experience the right mix of sand and dirt to get the best grip possible when racing. There is also a mini-monster track for the little guys. Be sure to check in advance for hours and days.
Near Eloy is the community of Arizona City. Arizona City is a planned community at the midpoint of the Phoenix-Tucson corridor, one of the more rapidly developing areas of the state. Surrounded by productive agricultural land, Arizona City has both industrial and commercially zoned areas, along with such amenities as a 48-acre lake, an 18-hole golf course, and several parks. The community, which was established in 1960, is 54 miles from Tucson and 56 miles from Phoenix, in south-central Pinal County. The community has an elevation of 1,505 feet and is unincorporated.
Arizona City lies in the Santa Cruz Basin, a fertile agricultural area. More than 150 square miles in the valley are irritated and produce cotton, jojoba beans, grains, vegetables, and citrus. Cattle ranching is also very important to the area’s economy. Arizona City’s location on Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson lends its residents metropolitan convenience while maintaining a rural atmosphere. Also, its proximity to the junction of I-8 and I-10 makes it attractive to industries where transportation is a key factor. Presently, Meyers Bakery, the nation’s largest private-label bakery, and M.C. Davis Electronics, producers of electronic components, call Arizona City home.
A 48-acre man-made lake is available for sailing and fishing. Several large lakes, many with full-service marinas where one can enjoy fishing, swimming, and boating, are within a short scenic drive to the north and northeast. Picacho Peak State Park, 22 miles southeast of Arizona City, is the site of Arizona’s only Civil War battle. It took place in April 1862, when troops from the Union’s California Volunteers encountered a detachment of soldiers on guard duty from the Confederacy’s Texas Volunteers. The State Park, opened in 1968, provides hiking trails that lead to the summit of the majestic peak, as well as camping, picnicking, hiking and other facilities. Rock hounds will enjoy the selection of distinctive agates, a type of quartz with bands of color that can be found at the Agate Fields just south of Arizona City. Another point of historic interest is Casa Grande National Monument, 20 miles north of Arizona City, where one can also visit the Casa Grande Valley Historic museum. Directly west of the Arizona City is the northeast corner of the sprawling Tohono O’odham (Papago) Indian Reservation.
Picacho, Picacho Peak, and Red Rock are in the lower Santa Cruz
River Valley in south-central Arizona. These three unincorporated
communities are 50 miles northwest of Tucson in Pinal County.
The name Picacho is Spanish for peak or point. This area was
important to early travelers because it had water and was
halfway between Tucson and the Gila River.
Picacho Pass was the scene of the only Civil War battle fought in
Arizona. It took place in April 1862, when troops from the
Union’s California Volunteers encountered a detachment of soldiers
on guard duty from the Confederacy’s Texas Volunteers. A
post office was established in 1881.
Red Rock is a red butte near the Southern Pacific Railroad. At
one time, a branch spur line to the Silver Bell Mine smelter had
its junction with the Southern Pacific Railroad at Red Rock. A
post office was established in 1887.
The Santa Cruz Valley economy is based on agriculture. The
communities of Picacho and Red Rock were established as the shipping
points for area agricultural products. Livestock, cotton, citrus
and pecans are predominant products shipped from these
The other major economic activities in the three-community area
are wholesale/retail trade and services. These sectors include old
and well-established businesses supplying agricultural products
and farm implements, as well as many new firms located along
Interstate 10 to serve travelers along that route.
The Santa Cruz Valley, including Picacho, Picacho Peak, and Red
Rock, is rich in scenic and historic attractions offering a wide
variety of recreational opportunities for residents and visitors
Picacho Peak State Park, located at Picacho Pass along Interstate
10, opened in 1968. The park provides hiking trails that lead to
the summit of the majestic peak, as well as camping, picnicking,
and other facilities. Rock hounds will enjoy the selection of distinctive agates, a type
of quartz with bands of color, that can be found at the nearby
The 472-acre Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is north of
the Valley, near Coolidge. This facility displays a four-story structure
of coarse caliche, built about 1350 A.D. by the Hohokam
Indian farmers of the Gila Valley. Arizona’s famed Superstition
Mountains are 60 miles north of the Santa Cruz Valley near