Tracing Back the Roots of the City

History of Cleveland

Tracing Back the Roots of the City

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Cleveland – the 51st largest city in the USA and the second most populous county in the state of Ohio – was not always the hustling bustling place as we know it today. Recorded history tells us that the land was cold and wet so much so that it was hardly suitable for human settlement.

History of Cleveland

So how did the city evolve into its current state? Let’s take a walk down the memory lane to trace Cleveland’s history.

Historical Timeline of Cleveland

  • First human settlements

After the last ice age ended, the retreating ice sheets left behind huge bodies of freshwater that we know today as the Great Lakes. These fresh water lakes became the primary reason why early humans started settling down in the area. In fact, the earliest settlement of humans in this area can be dated back to 9000 BC in the Medinan County.

  • Moses Cleaveland sets foot in the city

With time, as agriculture became more predominant, human settlements started settling down for long. This gave rise to land disputes and several bloody attacks were witnessed by different clans and tribes. However, the next significant event in the region happened on July 22, 1796, when General Moses Cleaveland arrived here to survey and map the land. The city was named Cleaveland by the general’s surveyors who started making plans of setting up a new city.

History of Cleveland

  • The city of Cleaveland gets incorporated

On December 23, 1814, the village of Cleaveland was officially incorporated. However, the name was later on changed to Cleveland by the local newspaper to fit within the newspaper’s masthead. The city soon became a major trading centre with large log cabins available for new settlers.

History of Cleveland

  • The rise of auto industry

After surviving the civil war, the early twentieth century saw the auto industry roaring with new potential. The city soon became home to some major car builders like White, Gaeth, and Baker.

  • Depression and Cleveland

Just like the entire country, Cleveland grappled with the Great Depression of the 30s. However, this was also the time when Cursadors – an anti-prohibition group – was formed. In 1932 the group claimed to have 1 million members.

  • Great Lakes Exposition

After recovering from the depression, the city made steady progress. The Great Lakes exposition of 1936 had 4 million visitors which was quite a significant number then.

History of Cleveland


Despite the hardships of the two World Wars and the rising fiscal problems, the city has come out stronger. Although the debt on the city remains, the spirit of the people is quite positive. Looking to review its glory days back, the city has once again emerged as an important economic and cultural centre in the Midwest.

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