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James P. Kaetz, Auburn University
Southside is located in west-central Etowah County in the northeast part of the state, on the Coosa River. It has a mayor/council form of government.
The area that is present-day Southside was first settled in 1850. Southside proper resulted from the merging of Green Valley, Cedar Bend, and Pilgrims Rest. These communities were primarily supported by agriculture, although some small businesses did exist. Southside had electric lights by 1931. The city was incorporated in 1957, the same year that it constructed its own water system.
According to 2016 Census estimates, Southside recorded a population of 8,563. Of that number, 94.9 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 2.2 percent as African American, 2.1 percent as Asian, 1.4 percent as Hispanic, and 0.6 percent as two or more races. The town's median household income was $65,561, and the per capita income was $27,695.
According to 2016 Census estimates, the workforce in Southside was divided among the following industrial categories:
  • Educational services and health care and social assistance (26.2 percent)
  • Manufacturing (16.7 percent)
  • Retail trade (10.1 percent)
  • Other services, except public administration (9.8 percent)
  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services (7.4 percent)
  • Public administration (7.1 percent)
  • Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (6.4 percent)
  • Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (6.3 percent)
  • Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (4.2 percent)
  • Construction (3.3 percent)
  • Information (2.2 percent)
  • Wholesale trade (0.3 percent)
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extraction (0.1 percent)
Schools in Southside are part of the Etowah County School system; the town has one elementary school and one high school. Gadsden State Community College is located seven miles from Southside.
State Highway 77 bisects the city north-south. Interstate 59 is located approximately 10 miles northwest of Southside. The Northeast Alabama Regional Airport is located approximately five miles northwest of the city.
Events and Places of Interest
Southside City Fest is held annually the third Saturday of July; the festival began in 2007. Activities include an antique car show, children's activities, arts and crafts booths and food vendors, and musical entertainment.
The city also has a sports complex with softball fields and a community center with meeting rooms that can be rented for private functions.

Additional Resources

Etowah County Centennial Committee. The History of Etowah County. Birmingham: Roberts and Son, 1968.
Etowah County Heritage Book Committee. Heritage of Etowah County. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 1999.
Published:  November 30, 2011   |   Last updated:  November 6, 2020