Alamogordo, New Mexico

Encyclopedia Article


A small town in south-central New Mexico, Alamogordo is situated between the Sacramento Mountains to the east and the White Sands National Monument to the west. There is evidence that the area surrounding the city was inhabited by Native peoples for thousands of years, and the Mescalero Apache peoples still live in a nearby Indian reservation. The present settlement was established in 1899, and was developed mostly as a lumber and agricultural center until the second half of the 20th century, with the arrival of the Holloman Air force Base and the famous "Trinity Site," where the first atomic bomb was tested in 1945.

The name "Alamogordo" means "Large Cottonwood" in Spanish, and references the native cottonwood trees that are common to the area.

Photo Credit: 

"Alamogordo, New Mexico, December 19, 2005" by Ryan Michael is licensed under CC BY-SA.

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