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Cloudcroft, New Mexico is a village in Otero County and is located in the Lincoln National Forest. It is and always has been a tourist attraction, in part because it is high in the mountains and therefore has mild summers. In the 1890s, shortly after the town of Alamogordo was founded, Charles and John Eddy showed up with the goal of continuing their rail line, El Paso and Northeastern Railroad north to White Oaks, a mining town. They sent a survey team into the mountains to see if it was feasible to lay tracks through the summit. The crew came back with the exciting news that it was possible and it was beautiful. The area was named Cloudcroft, which means a pasture for the clouds, and the work on the tracks began. They began construction on a pavilion at the summit in order to have a place for tourists to stay. The structure consisted of a parlor, kitchen, dining room, entertainment hall, and 40 tents on wooden platforms. In May of 1899, the railroad reached Cox Canyon, and a month latter, The Pavilion was officially opened. The railroad would not be open for another few months, so the first visitors would ride the train as far as it could go and then took a stagecoach.The lodge burned down in 1909 and was rebuilt. Then it burned two more times in the 1920s, but again was rebuilt. Stars flocked to the Lodge at Cloudcroft, including Clark Gable, Judy Garland, and even famed revolutionary Pancho Villa. During the 1930s, Conrad Hilton managed the Lodge.

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