Cleveland, Tennessee

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Cleveland, Tennessee
Bradley County Courthouse in Cleveland
Bradley County Courthouse in Cleveland
Nickname(s): The City with Spirit
Location of Cleveland, Tennessee
Location of Cleveland, Tennessee
Coordinates: 35°10′17″N 84°52′16″W / 35.17139°N 84.87111°W / 35.17139; -84.87111Coordinates: 35°10′17″N 84°52′16″W / 35.17139°N 84.87111°W / 35.17139; -84.87111
CountryUnited States
Named forBenjamin Cleveland
 • TypeCity Council
 • MayorTom Rowland[3]
 • City ManagerJanice Casteel[4]
 • Total29.68 sq mi (76.87 km2)
 • Land29.68 sq mi (76.87 km2)
 • Water0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation869 ft (265 m)
Population (2012 Census Estimate[5])
 • Total42,386
 • Density1,428.10/sq mi (551.40/km2)
Time zoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes37311, 37312, 37320, 37323, 37364
Area code(s)423
FIPS code47-15400[6]
GNIS feature ID1280705[7]
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Cleveland, Tennessee
Bradley County Courthouse in Cleveland
Bradley County Courthouse in Cleveland
Nickname(s): The City with Spirit
Location of Cleveland, Tennessee
Location of Cleveland, Tennessee
Coordinates: 35°10′17″N 84°52′16″W / 35.17139°N 84.87111°W / 35.17139; -84.87111Coordinates: 35°10′17″N 84°52′16″W / 35.17139°N 84.87111°W / 35.17139; -84.87111
CountryUnited States
Named forBenjamin Cleveland
 • TypeCity Council
 • MayorTom Rowland[3]
 • City ManagerJanice Casteel[4]
 • Total29.68 sq mi (76.87 km2)
 • Land29.68 sq mi (76.87 km2)
 • Water0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation869 ft (265 m)
Population (2012 Census Estimate[5])
 • Total42,386
 • Density1,428.10/sq mi (551.40/km2)
Time zoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes37311, 37312, 37320, 37323, 37364
Area code(s)423
FIPS code47-15400[6]
GNIS feature ID1280705[7]

Cleveland is a city in Bradley County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 41,285 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat and largest city in Bradley County,[8] and the principal city of the Cleveland, Tennessee metropolitan area (consisting of Bradley County and neighboring Polk County), which is included in the Chattanooga-Cleveland-Dalton combined statistical area. Cleveland is the fourteenth largest city in Tennessee[9] and the fifth-largest industrially with twelve Fortune 500 manufacturers.[10]


Downtown Cleveland

Cleveland was established in 1837 as county seat for Bradley County, which had been created the previous year. It was named after Colonel Benjamin Cleveland, a commander at the Battle of Kings Mountain during the American Revolution.[1] In 1819, the Cherokee Agency— the official liaison between the U.S. government and the Cherokee Nation— was moved to the Hiwassee area, a few miles north of what is now Cleveland. The Indian agent was Colonel Return J. Meigs. Charleston and Blythe's Ferry (about 15 miles, or 24 kilometers, west of Cleveland) would both figure prominently in the Cherokee Removal in the late 1830s.[1]
Cleveland's early success came from its location near several springs and water sources. Andrew Taylor, who had married a Cherokee woman had built a log cabin on what is now occupied by the Post Office downtown. His home was known by settlers as "Taylor's Place" and became a favored stopping point by travelers.[11]


Cleveland is at 35°10′17″N 84°52′16″W / 35.171483°N 84.871067°W / 35.171483; -84.871067.[12] It is situated among a series of low hills and ridges roughly 15 miles (24 km) west of the Appalachian Mountains and 15 miles (24 km) east of the Chickamauga Lake impoundment of the Tennessee River. The Hiwassee River, which flows down out of the mountains and forms the northern boundary of Bradley County, empties into the Tennessee a few miles northwest of Cleveland. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total land area of 25.0 square miles (65 km2).
Several paralleling ridges, creeks, and bodies of water make up the terrain of Cleveland. Clingan Ridge, also called Candies Creek Ridge, is the highest and ridge fartherest west in the city. To the west is Candies Creek and to the east is South Mouse Creek. Both creeks flow north into the Hiwassee River. The next ridge to the east slopes down to a low hill through the business district. It is called Mouse Creek Ridge to the north and Blue Springs Ridge to the south. The next ridge to the east, Lead Mine Ridge, also slopes down through the business district. This makes the city's location fortunate. Several paralleling northeasterly-running ridges are located within the county.
Cleveland is divided into five major regions: Central Cleveland (also Downtown Cleveland), Northern Cleveland, East Cleveland, South Cleveland, and Western Cleveland. East and South Cleveland are census-designated places. There are no official borders between the other divisions.



The city of Cleveland operates under a council/manager form of government with a mayor, city manager and seven council members. The current mayor is Tom Rowland, who has held that position since September 9, 1991, the longest in Cleveland's history, and the city manager is Janice Casteel. The city is divided into five districts which are served each by a councilman along with two who serve at-large.

District 1Charlie McKenzie
District 2Bill Estes
District 3Avery L. Johnson
District 4David May, Jr.
District 5Dale R. Hughes
At-large 1George Poe, Jr.
At-large 2Richard L. Banks


Cleveland Utilities is the major department which provides services to Cleveland residents. They provide electric, water, and sewage services.

Public safety[edit]

The Cleveland Fire Department is an all-paid professional department. It currently consists of 90 highly trained personnel and 5 stations, and serves an estimated 67,135 people. The current chief is Steve Haun.[13] The Cleveland Police department currently has 91 Certified Police Officers, two Codes Enforcement Officers and 11 full-time civilian employees, along with one part-time civilian employee, 13 School Crossing Guards and eight Animal Control employees. They also maintain a Volunteer Program consisting of a 15 member Public Service Unit and a nine member Chaplain Unit. The Chief of Police is David Bishop.[14]

Public works[edit]

The Public Works Department performs the most varied actions of all the city departments. It has approximately 51 employees. The department is responsible for the city’s fleet operation, sign maintenance and design, and street markings. The current director is Tommy Myers.[15]

Parks and recreation[edit]

Several public recreational parks are located within or near Cleveland.[16] They are all maintaned by the Cleveland Parks and Recreation department. They allow a variety of activities, and some organized sports teams compete at them. The Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway is an approximately 4.4 mile long greenway path which follows South Mouse Creek from downtown to neighborhoods in the northern part of the city. [17] Other facilities include the Bradley County Park, Kenneth L. Tinsley Park, Mosby Park, Pritchard Park, Deer Park, College Hill Recreation Center, Northeast Recreation Center, Johnston Park, Leonard Fletcher Park, Cleveland Family YMCA, and the South Cleveland Community Center.



Hardwick Field, also known as Cleveland Municipal Airport, was the principal airport from 1955 to 2013.[18][19] Cleveland Regional Jetport, located approximately two miles east of Hardwick Field opened on January 25, 2013, replacing Hardwick Field. It consists of a 5,500 by 100ft runway.[20]


Cleveland is served by the Norfolk Southern Railway, which forks in the city and provides logistics for industries.


Cleveland is on U.S. Route 11 (Lee Highway, Ocoee St.)'s intersection with several state and federal highways. The U.S. Route 11 Bypass (Keith Street) bypasses the business district. U.S. Route 64 connects Cleveland with Murphy, North Carolina to the east and the Chattanooga area to the southwest. TN State Route 60 (25th Street) connects Cleveland with Dayton to the northwest and Dalton, Georgia to the southeast, where the road becomes GA State Route 71. The U.S. 64 Bypass, along with a small portion of S.R. 60 (known as APD-40 by locals) is part of the Appalachian Development Highway System, and serves as a beltway around the business district. Parts of this beltway are controlled access. Interstate 75 passes through western Cleveland, connecting the area with Knoxville and Chattanooga. A total of three exits serve Cleveland.


The U.S. 11 Bypass (Keith Street) was built in the mid 1960s to relieve congestion of passing traffic downtown. S.R. 60 originally turned southward at the first intersection east of the interstate and ran together with U.S. 64 through downtown, but was moved to 25th street in the late 1960s, which ended at Ocoee St. (U.S. 11) With the growth of industries in the city, APD-40 was planned as a connector road to U.S. 64 and a bypass around downtown between the proposed Interstate 75 and U.S. 11 to the north in the late 1960s. The project began in 1968 and ended with the last section opening in 1973. Sgt. Paul Huff Parkway, a major thoroughfare in the northern part of the city was built between the interstate and North Lee Highway (U.S. 11) in the mid-1980s to provide a seminal for new businesses and an easier access to industries in the northeastern corner of the city. An additional section between the interstate and S.R. 60 was constructed in the late 1980s. Most major economic centers are located in this part of the city.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation is currently rebuilding the I-75 interchange with APD-40 (exit 20), as the current conditions cause traffic to back up across the existing two lane overpass and on the ramps. A reported 17,000 vehicles traverse this bridge daily. Plans are to demolish the existing structure and build a new six lane bridge. The ramps will also be lengthened. The project is expected to be completed by November 2015.[21] APD-40 has also been reported to be the road where the most roadway accidents and fatalities occur in Bradley County.[citation needed]

Major Roadways[edit]

Aerial view of the cloverleaf interchange with APD-40 (U.S. 64 Bypass, S.R. 60) and U.S. 64 (Inman Street, Waterlevel Highway)


Since 1908, 27 tornadoes have been documented in the Cleveland area, 7 of which struck on April 27, 2011.[22]

Climate data for Cleveland, Tennessee
Average high °F (°C)50
Average low °F (°C)28
Precipitation inches (cm)5
[citation needed]


Historical population
Est. 201242,3862.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
Location of the Cleveland Metropolitan Statistical Area in Tennessee

Cleveland is the principal city of the Cleveland Metropolitan Statistical Area, a metropolitan area that covers Bradley and Polk counties[23] and had a combined population of 104,015 at the 2000 census.[6]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 37,192 people, 15,037 households, and 9,518 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,490.9 people per square mile (575.5/km2). There were 16,431 housing units at an average density of 658.7 per square mile (254.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.00% White, 7.01% African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.97% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.29% from other races, and 1.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.87% of the population.

There were 15,037 households out of which 28.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.6% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.7% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.9% under the age of 18, 15.4% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 89.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,098, and the median income for a family was $40,150. Males had a median income of $30,763 versus $21,480 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,316. About 11.3% of families and 16.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.5% of those under age 18 and 14.3% of those age 65 or over.


Industry is responsible for the majority of the city's income. According to the Chamber of Commerce,[24] Cleveland is the fifth largest city in Tennessee industrially. Cleveland is home to several industries, including household cooking equipment, foodstuff, textiles, furniture, storage batteries, pharmaceuticals, industrial cleaning products, photographic processing, industrial and domestic chemicals, and automotive parts. Tourism also plays a major part, with the many nearby attractions and yearly events. Cleveland is the location for the corporate headquarters of Life Care Centers of America, the largest privately held nursing facility company in the U.S. Check Into Cash, the largest privately held payday loan company in the United States, was founded in Cleveland in 1993 by businessman Allan Jones[25] In addition to corporate businesses, there are several retail stores, most located in the northern part of the city. The Bradley Square Mall is a shopping mall with over 50 tenants.

Top employers[edit]

Name[26]Number of Employees
Whirlpool Corporation1,386
Bradley County Schools1,200
SkyRidge Medical Center1,147
Peyton's Southeastern950
Lee University815
Cleveland City Schools664
Walmart Supercenter (two stores)640
Bradley County Government620
Coca-Cola Refreshments537
Mars, Inc.495
Life Care Centers of America450
Olin Corporation384
Whirlpool Xperience Center (call center)375
City of Cleveland340
Exel, Inc.340
Catnapper/Cleveland Chair300


Craigmiles Hall was used as an opera house for several decades.

Tourism is a major part of Cleveland's income. Several attractions in and around Cleveland attract visitors from all over the country. Perhaps the Cherokee National Forest in Polk County is responsible for the majority of the income. The forest yields many outdoor activities. Two rivers, the Ocoee and Hiwassee flow through the forest. Thousands of people travel to the area every year to raft these rivers. Red Clay State Park is a historical site just above the Georgia state line. The Cherokee Indians took council here upon being driven out of Georgia. In addition, the Museum Center at 5ive Points features exhibits on the Cherokee Indians and other native peoples in the Ocoee region yearly.[citation needed] The museum also features artifacts and exhibits of other historical events in the area.[citation needed] The Ocoee Regional Nature Center is a state-certified arboretum. It houses over 100 types of trees, plants, flowers, and shrubs.[citation needed]


Painting of Tall Betsy in Fort Hill Cemetery.

The MainStreet Cleveland Halloween Block Party draws thousands of people to the city every year around Halloween. Cleveland's mayor, Tom Rowland, has dubbed the city the "Halloween capital of the world" due to this. Cleveland is the home of Tall Betsy, the official Halloween goblin of Bradley County. The event drew 25,000 people in 2005 when the Block Party was held to honor Tall Betsy’s 25th anniversary. In 1993 a Cleveland home on Centenary Avenue owned by businessman Allan Jones was the site of a Halloween world record. According to media reports, the Jones family handed out 11,201 pieces of bubblegum from 5 pm to 8 pm.[27]
The Cleveland Apple Festival, begun in 2002, is an annual family event held on the third weekend of October.[28] This festival offers a juried art and craft show, live bluegrass music, food booths, pony and a hayride, entertainment, contests and children's activities. Unlike many festivals of its kind in the U.S., The Cleveland Apple Festival does not charge for children to participate in the various children's activities provided in the children's area. The festival is a 501(c)(3) public charity.


Cleveland High and Bradley Central are the two principal public high schools in the city. Cleveland Middle and Ocoee Middle are the two principal middle schools. Cleveland City Schools is a school system for students living within the city limits. Several elementary schools serve students within different sub district divisions. Some schools maintained by Bradley County Schools are also in the city. Tennessee Christian Preparatory School is a Christian college preparatory school located in Cleveland. The city is also home to Cleveland State Community College, a unit of the Tennessee Board of Regents, as well as Lee University, the second largest private four-year university in the state.[29]

Public schools[edit]

High Schools[edit]

Middle Schools[edit]

Elementary Schools[edit]


Cleveland High School has one of the most successful football programs in Tennessee. It has the second longest winning streak in Tennessee high school football history with fifty-four consecutive wins between 1993 and 1996. The Blue Raiders have also achieved four state championships in 1968, 1993, 1994, and 1995.[citation needed] The Cleveland High School and Bradley Central wrestling teams traditionally dominate the state wrestling championships. In 2013, Cleveland City Council presented a resolution honoring the Cleveland High School wrestling team and declared Feb. 25 as “Blue Raider Wrestling Day.” The Blue Raiders earned the title of 2013 state champions for the second time in three years after winning the 2013 TSSAA Division I Traditional State Championships in Franklin on Feb. 16 and the State Duals Finals on February 2. The team was runner-up in both the duals and state tournaments in 2012, after claiming the traditional title in 2011.[30]

Private schools[edit]

Higher education[edit]



The main newspaper is the Cleveland Daily Banner which has existed since 1857.[31] Additionally, the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the paper based in Chattanooga, is also a primary source of news for Bradley County residents.


Several radio stations located within Chattanooga and neighboring cities serve Cleveland, along with others licensed to Cleveland, which are listed below:[32]

Call signFrequencyFormat
W207C1 (WAYW)89.3 FMContemporary Christian
WSAA93.1 FMAir 1, Contemporary Christian
WOOP99.9 FMCountry
WUSY100.7 FMCountry
W267BI101.3 FMTalk
W290CA (WTSE)105.9 FMContemporary Christian
WBAC1340 AMNews/Talk
WCLE1570 AMTalk


Cleveland is served by several TV stations licensed both in the city and neighboring cities. Stations licensed in Cleveland include:

Call sign[33]ChannelNetwork
WPDP-LP25Fox, My Network TV
WTNB-CA27My Family TV
WFLI-TV42, 53The CW, Me-TV


Broad Street United Methodist Church

Numerous Christian denominations are represented in the city, including several for which Cleveland serves as the international headquarters. Denominations based in Cleveland include:

Several churches in Downtown Cleveland are of notable architecture, including the Romanesque Revival Broad Street United Methodist Church, the First Presbyterian Church on Ocoee Street, and St. Luke's Episcopal Church, which was built in the Gothic Revival style by architect Peter Williamson. All three are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Notable people[edit]

Don Troiani’s depiction of Col. Benjamin Cleveland."

Sister cities[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Goodspeed's History of Bradley County, Tennessee," originally published in 1887. Transcribed for web content and maintained by TNGenWeb - Bradley County. Retrieved: 30 December 2007.
  2. ^ Tennessee Blue Book, 2005-2006, pp. 618-625.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  8. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  9. ^ "Cleveland TN Real Estate Information". 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  10. ^ "Welcome to Cleveland, Tennessee!". 2 November 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "History of Cleveland". Cleveland Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  13. ^ "Cleveland Fire Department". Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "Cleveland Police Department". Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "Public Works". Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  16. ^ "author=". visitclevelandtn. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  17. ^ "Home". Cleveland-Bradley County Greenway. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  18. ^ Love, Joyanna (December 29, 2013). "Cleveland’s Hardwick Field officially closes Tuesday closes Tuesday". Cleveland Daily Banner. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  19. ^ Leach, Paul (December 27, 2013). "Cleveland's oldest airport, Hardwick Field, to close at year's end". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  20. ^ |url= missing title (help). Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  21. ^ Davis, David. "TDOT awards exit 20 project". Cleveland Daily Banner. Cleveland Daily Banner. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENTS, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-07-30.
  24. ^ [1] Cleveland Chamber of Commerce
  25. ^ Kim Christensen, "More in middle class using payday lenders", Los Angeles Times, December 24, 2008
  26. ^ {{cite web |url= |title=Largest Employers |author= |date= | |publisher=Cleveland Chamber of Commerce |accessdate=19 January 2014}
  27. ^ "City Celebrates "Tall Betsy" Legend with Documentary". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 2013-10-24. 
  28. ^ "Cleveland Apple Festival". Cleveland Apple Festival. 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  29. ^ "Lee University". 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  30. ^ City Council Honors CHS as State Wrestling Champions, Cleveland Daily Banner, Feb. 27, 2013.
  31. ^ "Cleveland Daily Banner - Bradley County News Online Magazine". Retrieved 2007-12-15. 
  32. ^ "Radio Stations in Cleveland, Tennessee". Radio Locator. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  33. ^ Pro Content and Design. "Television station listings in Cleveland, Tennessee". Pro Content and Design. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  34. ^ "RAB Hall of Fame - Stan Beaver." Retrieved: 23 April 2008.
  35. ^ "Athens Area Council for the Arts." Retrieved: 23 April 2008.
  36. ^ "Christian Concert Authority - Phil Driscoll Interview." Retrieved: 23 April 2008.
  37. ^ "American Bandmasters - David Holsinger." Retrieved: 23 April 2008.
  38. ^ "Paul Huff: Native Hero." Retrieved: 23 April 2008.
  39. ^ "WBCA 2001 High School All-Americans." Retrieved: 23 April 2008.
  40. ^ Avalon
  41. ^
  42. ^ "Lee University - Phil Stacey & American Idol." Retrieved: 23 April 2008.
  43. ^ Higgins, Randall. "Cleveland, Tenn., is now sister city to... Phnom Penh?". Times Free Press. 

External links[edit]