Cleveland, named after General Moses Cleaveland, was the first settlement established in the Connecticut Western Reserve. General Cleaveland was an investor in the Connecticut Land Company and led the survey of the land. The spelling of “Cleaveland” was changed to “Cleveland” on January 6, 1831, to save space on the masthead of Cleveland Advertiser. The initial survey included 220 lots and was fulfilled in 1796. They first imposed fifty dollars from the people who wanted to live there. It was reported that there were fifty-seven residents in Cleveland by the year 1810. In 1807, it became the Cuyahoga County seat, in spite of its small population.
Cleveland began to thrive sometime in the 1820s when new modes of transportation arrived. There was a better and faster trade between the city and other communities near Lake Erie because of the arrival of the first steamboat in Cleveland. The Ohio and Erie Canal erected between the 1820s and 1830s joined the lake with the Ohio River. Soon after, railroads began to flourish in the city, and the population of Cleveland rose to over forty thousand.
Due to its numerous transportation routes, Cleveland became a significant industrial city. It also owes its prosperity to the large deposits of iron ore and coal near the town. Businessmen such as John D. Rockefeller established his oil company along with his business partners in the 1860s. Although Cleveland was regarded as an important industrial center, its residents still had to endure difficult times, especially during the Great Depression. Some companies had to let go of their employees to stay in business. Approximately one-third of the city’s total population was unemployed by 1933.
During the late 1800s and the early 1900s, Cleveland took the lead in social and cultural events in northern Ohio. Euclid Beach Park, an amusement park often called as Cleveland’s “Coney Island” was fully-operational in 1894. After seven years, the city became active in professional baseball and along with the establishment of the American League.
Cleveland played an integral role in national politics in the first half of the 20th century when it hosted the Republican Party’s National Convention. After World War II, Cleveland went through challenging situations. At this point, the city experienced a steady decline while its population continued to grow.
In 1969, an oil spill caused fire on the Cuyahoga River. Some years after that, the United States District Court administrated the segregation of city schools according to race. After two years, Cleveland defaulted on its financial responsibilities. During that time, the city suffered from a thirty-million debt. They continued to be in default until 1987.
Even with the presence of adverse situations in the city throughout the years, citizens of Cleveland still have much to celebrate. During the 1990s, the Cleveland Indians became one of the most influential teams in the American League. Over the past years, the city has been regarded as an All-America City. Aside from the rebirth of the Cleveland Browns, the National Football League awarded Cleveland a new team. Cleveland recovered its cultural and economic significance along with the reclamation of the Cuyahoga River Valley.