Cleveland plans 175th anniversary celebration

By LARRY C. BOWERS Staff Writer
Posted 8/12/17

A citywide birthday party is being planned.

A committee has been formed for preliminary discussion and planning for the City of Cleveland’s 175th Anniversary Celebration.

Mayor Tom …

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Cleveland plans 175th anniversary celebration

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A citywide birthday party is being planned.

A committee has been formed for preliminary discussion and planning for the City of Cleveland’s 175th Anniversary Celebration.

Mayor Tom Rowland heads the committee. No specific dates or times have yet been determined, but the celebration is probably going to be in late October.

Other community leaders on the Anniversary 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.

Brooks is in the process of confirming appearances by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, and U.S. senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker.

Rowland said the celebration is expected to be similar to an event the city held in 1992 on Cleveland’s 150th Anniversary. It is expected to be a three-prong event, with a breakfast, lunch or picnic; a sit-down dinner; and probably a concert.

“Back 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 reminisced. “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.

The city’s mayor said the Cherokee Blossom Quilt Guild provided several beautiful banners commemorating the 150th anniversary, and one of the banners still decorates his office. He has asked the guild to participate in this year’s 175th celebration.

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

The proposed sit-down meal will be for local, state and federal officials. The location and arrangements have yet to be decided.

The planning committee is also pondering a communitywide picnic, with the site also to be determined. It is expected this picnic will include free food, activities for children and families, and door prizes.

The committee is in the process of contacting former Cleveland residents who have been successful in the entertainment world, and who would like to come back and perform for the community at this celebration. They are also asking city residents to contact committee members with suggestions and ideas.

Rowland plans to ask the Cleveland Pops to perform at the community picnic.

Specific dates and times will be determined by the committee in the near future. The group will meet at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the City Council meeting room at the municipal building.

The City of Cleveland was incorporated on Feb. 4, 1842, and elections for mayor and aldermen were held shortly afterward.

The community was organized prior to that date. The legislative act creating Bradley County was in 1836, and authorized the establishment of a county seat. The county seat was to be named "Cleveland" after Col. Benjamin Cleveland, a commander at the Battle of Kings Mountain during the American Revolution.

The 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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