Capital of Cuyahoga County in the state of Ohio (United States), at 41 ° 30 ′ N. and 81 ° 42 ′ W., located on the southern shore of Lake Erie, it is one of the most important cities of the confederation.
Its origins are very modest: on 22 July 1796 a column of explorers, led by Moses Cleaveland (descendant of a Yorkshire family) and coming from Buffalo, arrived in a region rich in pastures, small wooded areas, crossed by the Cuyahoga river. (which flows into Lake Erie, after passing through the metropolis): here arose the first nucleus of the future great city, which was given the name of Cleaveland in homage to the leader of the expedition (the name was changed to Cleveland around 1832). The first decades of life of the new center were extremely modest, so much so that in 1820 Cleveland had only 600 inhabitants. In 1807 the county of Cuyahoga was created, with Cleveland as its capital; in 1814 the young colony became part of the state of Ohio.
According to acronymmonster, the development of the center is therefore quite recent and coincides exactly with the construction of important canals and numerous railways. In 1825 the Frie canal was completed (see B uffalo), which from the homonymous lake by means of the Mohawk and Hudson rivers allows the transit to New York, then from Cleveland to the Atlantic, favoring the colonizing penetration and the transport of cereals; in 1838 the Ohio Canal was completed, which starts from Cleveland and, using part of the Cuyahoga River, reaches Akron, the Scioto Valley and Portsmouth on the Ohio, after a distance of 498 km. in Cincinnati.
The influence of these grandiose constructions is immediately felt: in 1840 the population increased tenfold compared to that of 1820, rising to 6,000 inhabitants, which became 17,000 in 1850.
Starting this year, a new economic force is added to the previous ones in favoring the development of the future metropolis: the current of iron minerals, which, coming from Lake Superior, moves eastwards, taking to Pennsylvania, rich in mines of coal. Cleveland is found right on the great marshalling yard, in excellent condition. And the vertiginous increase of the population attests the influence of these last geographical conditions: in 1860, 43,417 residents; in 1870, 92,829; in 1880, 160,146; in 1890, 261,353; in 1900, 381,768; in 1910, 560,663; in 1920, 796,841; a 1928 calculation gave over a million inhabitants (1,010,000).
As for the races, the Whites represented 95.6% in 1920; the Negroes 4.3%. There were 550,000 foreign whites, mainly Anglo-Saxons, Slavs, Neolatini (Italians 36,000), Magyars, etc.
Cleveland’s average annual temperature is 9 °, 4; the winter one of −2 °, 2; the summer one of 21 °, 1. The average annual rainfall is about 900 mm., Distributed in each month of the year, with preference, however, for the summer months. There is abundant snow, especially from December to February.
The city has gradually expanded, following the demographic upward pace: from 520 hectares in 1830 to over 18,000 in recent years. It extends on both banks of the Cuyahoga, especially on the right bank.
The metropolis owes its fortune and prosperity to the port, of which a section is located at the mouth of the Cuyahoga river, artificially enlarged and deepened, along whose banks the industrial city has risen (modern projects want to bring its depth to over 6 m.); the other part extends along the shores of the lake, the commercial port par excellence for the traffic of minerals, coal and timber, which has assumed gigantic proportions. Iron ores alone make up over 60% of total traffic; about a third of them remain in the city to power the blast furnaces.
In addition to being a large commercial center, Cleveland is also a very important industrial center; on the contrary, its industries have been able to develop precisely thanks to its commercial function. The main industries concern the steel and metallurgy; the automobile industry, which began around 1898, and shipbuilding are very developed. In the second half of the last century, the oil refining industry took on gigantic proportions, today decayed following the gradual depletion of oil wells in Ohio; however, there are still numerous refineries. Cleveland also has numerous other industries (chemical, textile, clothing).
The city is also a very important railway hub: numerous lines lead to the main centers of the west, south and east. It is located on the New York-Albany-Buffalo-Chicago line of the New York Central Railroad and on the lines of the Pennsylvania Railroad, the two largest companies in the United States of the northeast
The streets of the city are unusually wide and lined with shady rows of trees, which together with the large and numerous public gardens have given Cleveland the name of “Forest City”. In Wade Park, overlooking the lake, there is the museum, built on the designs of Hubbell and Benes, with a central Ionic-style pavilion flanked by two other lower pavilions, while the rest of the facade is smooth and windowless.; on the whole it is of good effect for the right proportions and for the beauty of the marbles. In the garden between the Museum and Euclid Avenue is a magnificent Chester A. Beach fountain. On the side of the lake, a wide staircase descends to the water level. The museum owns, in addition to the Holden collection, composed of Italian paintings, a considerable number of medieval ivories and enamels, including the Byzantine reliefs of the 11th century from the coll. Spitzer. The works of the first American portrait painters are of special importance. In Wade Park, there is also the statue of Marcus Hanna, of Saint-Gaudens.
Libraries and cultural institutes. – Cleveland has an important Public Library (founded in 1869) with over 1,350,000 volumes and the Cleveland Medical Library Association, with approximately 35,000 volumes. The Free University (Western Reserve University) was founded in 1826 and is one of the oldest in the United States; it includes 14 sections, all equipped with rich special libraries. The Case Library, of about 111,000 volumes, has belonged to the university since 1924. The numerous university laboratories and museums, and the astronomical observatory are still worthy of mention. The university is attended by over 12,000 students.
The courses of John Carroll University (Saint Ignatius College until 1923), founded in 1886, include the main university teaching subjects. The Case School of Applied Science, opened to students in 1880, is dedicated exclusively to higher scientific-technical education. It has numerous laboratories, a library of about 23,000 volumes and 26,000 brochures, and excellent museums of geology, mineralogy or natural sciences. Also worth mentioning: the art museum (see above), the natural science museum (bibl. Of about 12,000 volumes), the Western Reserve Historical Society (library of about 200,000 volumes, pamphlets and manuscripts), the American Association of Pathologists and Bacteriologists, etc. Almost all of these associations publish periodic bulletins or real magazines.