OUR 1991 FOUNDERS
Passed February, 2011
Andy and Jim, I was told that initially Cloudcroft
Light Opera Company (name
given to us by Jim Cadwallader) was established mainly to draw
and entertain tourist and give them something to do with their
evenings while visiting Cloudcroft. At that time costs were
covered by passing the "HAT" at intermission.
Everyone seemed to appreciate the performance indicated by their
donations that covered all initial costs. Jim said it took
all of the money he had in savings to put on that first
performance. He was involved with the acting group in
Alamogordo and by forming a group in Cloudcroft would keep him
from going up and down the mountain so often. It seems once
a person becomes settled in this area they just dont care
anything about leaving, even for short distances.
In Jim's case, this was and still is very much appreciated.
Andy took over the reins of choosing plays and performances for
the group. This was during the time when Andy and Jim
worked together to recruit people in town who were interested in
helping. Donations of time and "stuff" were
generously given to initially perform the first Christmas show.
All of the hard work and great efforts by both Andy and Jim
produced an outcome that is really fantastic.
In the beginning, Andy was involved with an acting group in El
Paso and his participation here kept him on his beloved mountain
top. You can still see both Jim and Andy around town.
Jim's activities keep him in the town of Mountain Top and his
daily assistance is greatly appreciated at the nearby High Rolls
Senior Center. Jim says that with the problems he is having
with his breathing it is best he stay down there at the lower
You can still see Andy running around town everyday and driving
Cloudcroft's ambulance. He is on call 24 hours carrying
people here and there for needed medical services and also,
serving the Senior Center in Cloudcroft weekly taking vital
signs. After a short visit to Maryland with VISTA recently,
Andy says that he will never leave this beautiful mountain top
ever again. He missed us - aren't we glad.
LIGHT OPERA COMPANY
Mescalero Apaches, believed to have migrated from an
Athabaskan group in Alaska, settled in the area known today
as Southern New Mexico and Northern Mexico. This settlement
took place around 1541 and made the Mescaleros the first
known, historically documented occupants of the Tularosa
Basin. In 1810, the Mescalero tribe signed a peace agreement
with the Spanish, ending decades of skirmishes and fighting.
In 1862, the first Hispanic settlers, escaping flooded areas
of the Rio Grande, settled on the western foothills of the
Sacramento Mountains, in an area known today as the town of
Tularosa. Seven years later, refugees from Socorro, New
Mexico founded the community of La Luz, just south of
Tularosa. These two groups lived in adobe huts, grew a
variety of fruits and vegetables, and raised cattle, sheep,
Stories of lush grasses, free land, and new opportunities
brought the first Anglo settlers to the Tularosa Basin.
Primarily Texans, the first white settlers arrived in the
mid 1870s. The abundance of land encouraged homesteading in
the vast open spaces. However, significant settlement did
not take place until 1897, when the El Paso and Northeastern
Railway opened. The Alamogordo and Sacramento Mountain
Railroad was formed to operate a line from Alamogordo up to
the proposed resort of Cloudcroft, and the Alamogordo Lumber
Company was establised for the purpose of operating a lumber
industry in the Sacramento Mountains.