City’s 175th birthday celebration set Nov. 5

By LARRY C. BOWERS Staff Writer
Posted 8/19/17

The Cleveland community is being invited to a belated birthday party on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 5, complete with cake and ice cream.

This will be the community’s treat in honor of …

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City’s 175th birthday celebration set Nov. 5

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The Cleveland community is being invited to a belated birthday party on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 5, complete with cake and ice cream.

This will be the community’s treat in honor of Cleveland’s 175th birthday this year. The city was founded on Feb. 4, 1842.

The celebration will be at the Greenway park and pavilion near Raider Drive from 2 to 5 p.m. There is expected to be entertainment from the Cleveland Pops, door prizes, activities for the children, and possibly a presentation of a commemorative coin.

Mayor Tom Rowland will coordinate a short program to recognize the city’s birthday.

These tentative plans were decided this week by the city’s 175th Anniversary Committee. The initial decision was to celebrate on Sunday, Oct. 22, but the pavilion and park were not available until the November date.

Joining Rowland on the committee are Steve Hartline, Will Jones, Randall Higgins, Joe Fivas, Melinda Carroll, state Rep. Kevin Brooks, Duane Gilbert, Melissa Woody, Sharon Marr, Gary Farlow, Bethany McCoy, Brian Moran, Avery Johnson, Beecher Hunter, Ralph Baldwin and Christy Goza.

In addition to this communitywide birthday party, planning continues for an invitational sit-down meal and program for state, national, city and county officials, and other community leaders. The date, and times of these events are yet to be determined.

Another event being explored is a concert by individuals who have been successful in the entertainment world. Some have contacted the city, saying they would like to give back to the community during the special time.

Brooks is attempting to coordinate a visit by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, as well as U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker.

Rowland is hopeful the anniversary celebration will be much like a 150-year event which was held in 1992.

“In 1992, we had a breakfast at Cleveland State Community College for elected officials, and the late Gov. Ned Ray McWherter was the guest speaker,” Rowland said. “We also had a sit-down dinner at the old First Baptist Church downtown.”

These events were followed by a concert by the late Phil Driscoll at Lee University’s Conn Center.

Twenty-five years ago, the Cherokee Blossom Quilt Guild provided several beautiful banners commemorating the city’s 150th, and Rowland still has one of the banners in his office. He has asked the guild to participate in this year’s celebration.

“There were several other events in the community, and we’re looking for that participation again,” Rowland said.

It is hoped this 175th celebration can be incorporated around a number of other community events. These events, including the Apple Festival and Cleveland’s Halloween Block Party, are scheduled at this time of the year.

The Anniversary Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. Thursday in the City Council meeting room at the municipal building.

Cleveland was established as the Bradley County seat six years following the legislative act creating the county in 1836. The county seat was to be named "Cleveland" after Col. Benjamin Cleveland, a commander at the Battle of Kings Mountain during the American Revolution.

County commissioners chose "Taylor's Place," the home of Andrew Taylor, as the location for the county seat, due largely to the site's excellent water source.

The city is currently in the process of establishing a new city park at Taylor Spring, located on 1st Street just west of the city’s downtown area and the Bradley County Courthouse. A fundraising campaign is currently underway for Taylor Spring Park.

By 1890, the city was home to nine physicians, 12 attorneys, 11 general stores, 14 grocery stores, three drug stores, three hardware stores, six butcher shops, two hatmakers, two hotels, a shoe store, and seven saloons.

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