Gadsden, Alabama

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The city of Gadsden is the county seat of Etowah County in the State of Alabama, and it is located about 65 miles northeast of Birmingham, Alabama. It is the primary city of the Gadsden Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a population of 103,459. Gadsden is closely-associated with the neighboring town of Attalla, Alabama. As of the U.S. Census Bureau estimate in 2006, the population of the city was about 37,300.[1]

Gadsden was at one time in the 19th century Alabama's second most important center of commerce and industry, trailing only the seaport of Mobile. The two cities were important shipping centers: Gadsden for riverboats and Mobile for international trade. Through the 1980s, Gadsden was a center on heavy industry, including the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and the Republic Steel Corporation.

More than a decade after the sharp decline in industry, in 1991 Gadsden was awarded the honor of All-America City by the National Civic League, an award that honored the way Gadsden's citizens, government, businesses, and voluntary organizations work together to address critical local issues.



The first substantial white settlement in what is now Gadsden was a village called "Double Springs". This was begun by a mixed American Indian and caucasian settler named John Riley when he built his house near two springs in about 1825. This became a stagecoach stop on the Huntsville-to-Rome route. The original house still stands today as the oldest one in Gadsden.

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