Gadsden is a city in and
the county seat of Etowah County, northeastern Alabama, United States,
approximately 60 miles northeast of Birmingham. It is the principal city
of and is included in the Gadsden Metropolitan Statistical Area, which
has a population of 103,459. As of the 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the
population of the city is 37,291.
It was at one time the state's
second most important industrial center, trailing only Mobile. The two
cities were important shipping centers: Gadsden for riverboats and Mobile
for international trade. Up until the 1980s, Gadsden was almost totally
dependent on heavy industry, including Goodyear Tire, and Republic Steel.
After virtually crumbling in the 1970s and 1980s, Gadsden decided its best
course of action was to stop being dependent on industry, and shedding
its "company town" image. 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.
Falls Park is a 250-acre (101-ha) public park located in Gadsden, Alabama
The falls are located on
land once owned by R.A. Mitchell, who gave the site to the city of Gadsden,
so that the area could be improved, and everyone could enjoy the majestic
falls. Across the street from the falls you will find R.A. Mitchell Elementary
School, named in his honor. The main feature of the park is a notable 90-foot
(27-m) waterfall with a gorge trail winding through its basin and past
caves, an aboriginal fort, an abandoned dam, pioneer homestead, and Civil
War carvings. The park also features a petting zoo, mini-golf course, the
Gilliland-Reese Covered Bridge (built 1899) and a replica 1863 C. P. Huntington
The Noccalula Falls Botanical
Gardens is an extensive botanical garden displaying over 25,000 azaleas.