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When was Cleveland founded? The history of July 22, 1796

225 years in the making: Cleveland celebrates birthday



CLEVELAND — Editor’s note: Video in the player above was originally published honoring Cleveland’s birthday on July 22, 2020.

Cleveland is celebrating its 225th birthday Thursday!

To honor the occasion, a celebration and wreath-laying ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. in front of the Moses Cleaveland statue in Public Square hosted by the Early Settlers Association of the Western Reserve. City Council President and mayoral candidate Kevin Kelley is expected to speak during the event.

RELATED: Happy Cleveland Day! The case for celebrating July 22 with Mike Polk Jr.

So how did Cleveland get its start? Here’s a summary from Cleveland City Council:

The founding of Cleveland is quite a story. Arriving at the mouth of the Cuyahoga on July 22, 1796, General Moses Cleaveland believed that the location “where river, lake, low banks, dense forests and high bluffs provided both protection and shipping access, was the ideal location for the ‘capital city’ of the Connecticut Western Reserve.”

Cleaveland had served in the Revolutionary War in a Connecticut Continental Regiment. Resigning his commission in 1781, he practiced law. As one of the founders of the Connecticut Land Co., and one of 7 directors, Cleaveland was sent out in 1796 to survey and map the company’s holdings.

His surveyors plotted a town, naming it Cleaveland. In Oct. 1796, Cleaveland and most of his party returned to Connecticut, never returning to the Western Reserve.

It would take 40 more years for the city of Cleveland (the letter “a” was dropped in 1831) to become incorporated on March 5th, 1836. It was an exciting year; it nearly erupted into open warfare with neighboring Ohio City over a bridge connecting the two communities.



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