Civilization in Carlsbad has existed for about 8,000 years - at least that's what archaeologists have been able to determine. The oldest known artifact that was discovered in the area was able to be carbon dated to determine it's age.

For thousands of years the Luiseno Indians lived in the area that is currently known as Carlsbad. In the mid-1700s, the Spanish entered the area and then claimed it. Between the mid-1700s and the late-1700s, many missionaries and religious people entered and began converting the thousands of American Indians who lived here to their religion. The missionaries were so successful because they brought with them a large amount of cattle and plenty of crops that the Indians were able to use.

In 1833, the railroad was opened which allowed the residents of Carlsbad to obtain and/or buy all sorts of tools and goods to make all of their lives easier. The coming of the railroad also allowed residents to send mail and telegrams as well as obtain fresh items such as fruits and vegetables from the outside world.

Carlsbad was officially named in the 1880s and was named after a spa that originally sat in the area now known as the Czech Republic. The name was selected after a resident of Carlsbad was digging for a well and hit mineral water that had the same properties as the water in Czech Republic spa.