New Hope was first referred to as "Cloud's Town" after an early family that settled in the area. It was incorporated as Vienna in either 1832 or 1836, but according to some accounts that effort was rejected by the U.S. Post Office because another town in the southern part of the state already had claimed that name. A post office was established there around 1835. In late May 1864, the town was seized by Union forces. That December, it was set afire by Union forces and largely destroyed, except for a Masonic Lodge and the post office. It was gradually rebuilt and was incorporated in 1883 as New Hope, from the name of a local Methodist church.
The first high school was built in 1920 and remained in use until 1958, when it was replaced by a new building. The old school was destroyed by fire in the 1980s and another high school building was constructed in the early 2000s.
In 1974, an approximate F5-force tornado hit the New Hope area, killing 28 and injuring 272.
The population of New Hope at the time of the 2010 Census was 2,810. Of that number, 93.7 percent identified themselves as white, 2.5 percent as American Indian, 2.5 percent as two or more races, 1.4 percent as Hispanic and Latino, and 0.3 percent as Asian. The median household income in 2010 according to Census estimates was $38,423 and the per capita income was $19,104.
According to 2010 Census estimates, the New Hope workforce was divided among the following major industrial categories:
· Manufacturing (22.8 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (17.0 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (10.8 percent)
· Retail Trade (9.8 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (8.9 percent)
· Construction (8.2 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (6.4 percent)
· Finance and insurance, real estate, and rental and leasing (5.0 percent)
· Public administration (3.8 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (3.6 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extraction (2.5 percent)
· Wholesale trade (1.3 percent)
Public education in New Hope is administered by Madison County Schools, which oversees one elementary school covering grades 1-8 and one high school covering grades 9-12 that collectively serve approximately 1,065 students and employ 60 educators.
New Hope is accessed by U.S. Highway 431 which runs north-south and County Highway 77 that runs north-south. Guntersville Municipal Airport-Joe Starnes Field is approximately 15 miles southeast of New Hope.
Events and Places of Interest
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places is Butlers' Store. On the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage are the Dr. James L. Carpenter Home (ca. 1936) and the Poplar Ridge School (ca. 1858). New Hope City Park provides ball fields, tennis courts, and playground equipment.
Lake Guntersville is located within ten miles of New Hope and features boating, fishing, camping, and other forms of recreation.
Published May 17, 2012
Last updated May 18, 2012