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 in 1949.
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 Sawtooth 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).