The land on which Cleveland now stands was first settled through land grants as early as 1823, and the area was largely inhabited by 1854. The first store owner named the community Dry Creek Crossroads in 1882. A later owner of the same store, John Blackwood, changed the name to Blackwood's Crossroads. Blackwood built several other businesses in the community, including a saw mill, a grist mill, and a feed mill.
A post office was established in the middle 1880s and it and the town were named Cleveland in honor of then-president Grover Cleveland. The town tried to incorporate in July 1912, but the effort proved unsuccessful because of lack of enthusiasm for holding elections. A fire destroyed several downtown buildings in 1913, including the landmark Blackwood Mercantile. The town was successfully incorporated in 1964.
According to the 2010 Census, Cleveland had a population of 1,303. Of that number, 89.2 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 18.4 percent as Hispanic, 1.4 percent as two or more races, 0.3 percent as African American, 0.3 percent as Asian, and 0.2 percent as Native American. The town's median household income, according to 2010 Census estimates, was $46,786, and the per capita income was $18,250.
According to 2010 Census estimates, the work force in Cleveland was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Manufacturing (19.0 percent)
· Construction (18.1 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (15.2 percent)
· Retail trade (9.1 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (7.9 percent)
· Transportation, warehousing, and utilities (7.4 percent)
· Wholesale trade (7.2 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (7.2 percent)
· Public administration (4.6 percent)
· Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (4.0 percent)
· Professional, scientific, and administrative and waste management services (0.4 percent)
Cleveland public schools are part of the Blount County Public Schools and enroll approximately 1,000 students and employ approximately 90 teachers in one elementary school and one high school. There is also a public special education school and a vocational high school.
Cleveland lies on U.S. Highway 231, which runs north and east through the town, and State Highway 160, which runs west.
Events and Places of Interest
The Swann Covered Bridge (c. 1925) is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Blount County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Blount County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 1999.
Claire M. Wilson
Published November 8, 2012
Last updated November 8, 2012