Originally known as Parker Town after the many members of the Parker family who settled in the region around the town, Rainsville was renamed after first settler on the actual town site, Will Rains, who moved to the area around the turn of the twentieth century. He opened the first store there in 1907, and the structure later housed one of the early schools. Long known as the largest community on Sand Mountain, the town has remained largely centered on an agriculture-based economy. It is also the home of the Sand Mountain Electric Cooperative.
Rainsville was one of several Alabama communities in the path of a series of tornadoes that struck the state on April 27, 2011; houses and businesses, the Rainsville Civic Center, and the high school were severely damaged, and there were at least 32 deaths in DeKalb County.
Rainsville's population according to the 2010 Census was 4,948. Of that number, 95.1 percent identified themselves as white, 3.8 percent as Hispanic, 1.3 percent as two or more races, 0.9 percent as Native American, 0.2 percent as black, and 0.2 percent as Asian. The town's median household income was $38,772, and the per capita income was $21,191.
Rainsville's work force in 2009 was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (27.2 percent)
· Manufacturing (19.1 percent)
· Retail trade (12.9 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (9.9 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (6.3 percent)
· Wholesale trade (4.8 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (4.7 percent)
· Public administration (3.8 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (3.1 percent)
· Construction (3.0 percent)
· Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (2.0 percent)
· Information (1.7 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (1.3 percent)
Leading employers in the area include Rainsville Technology Inc.; Varco Pruden Buildings Inc.; Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative Inc.; and Sand Mountain Electric Cooperative.
Schools in Rainsville are part of the DeKalb County School District; the town has approximately 1,276 students and 76 teachers in one school (K-12).
State Highway 75 runs northeast-southwest through the city, and State Highway 35 runs northwest-southeast. Interstate 59 lies approximately 10 miles southeast of the city. Scottsboro Municipal Airport is located 20 miles northwest of the city.
Events and Places of Interest
Rainsville has a city park with a swimming pool, tennis courts, a walking track, picnic tables, and a playground, as well as a sports complex with baseball and softball fields, and a separate softball complex.
Rainsville holds an annual Christmas parade in early December.
The McCurdy House is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
DeKalb County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of DeKalb Coun ty, Alabama, Vol. I. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc., 1998.
DeKalb County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of DeKalb County, Alabama, Vol. II. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc., 2008.
James P. Kaetz
Published January 27, 2012
Last updated February 2, 2012