Rainbow City, Alabama

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Rainbow City
Location in Etowah County and the state of Alabama
Location in Etowah County and the state of Alabama
Coordinates: 33°56′38″N 86°3′42″W / 33.94389°N 86.06167°W / 33.94389; -86.06167
Country United States
State Alabama
County Etowah
 • Total 25.3 sq mi (65.6 km2)
 • Land 25.1 sq mi (65.1 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)
Elevation 568 ft (173 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 9,602
 • Density 333.1/sq mi (128.5/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 35901, 35906
Area code(s) 256
FIPS code 01-63288
GNIS feature ID 0153101
Website http://www.rbcalabama.com/

Rainbow City is a city in Etowah County, Alabama, United States. The population was 9,602 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Gadsden Metropolitan Statistical Area.


This city was named after U.S. Highway 411, called Rainbow Drive, which runs through the middle of our city. Some of our older citizens say it was named after Alabama’s Rainbow Division that fought in World War I. As early as 1818, families from the Carolinas and Georgia began to migrate to the area and homestead land near the Coosa River. Between 1818 and 1830 landowners were the families of Edmond Jones; James Brown; John Choat; Mark Phillips; James Lister; Berry Dodd; Henry B. Boyd; John H. Garrett and Samuel Walker. Later settlers included the Gilbert; Dunaway; Littlefield; McDaniel; Lee; Best; Wright; Newton; Dismukes; Gilliland; and Sheffield families. Hernando de Soto’s troops were the first visitors to the area in 1540 and today a bridge now stands where the Pensacola Trading Path crossed the Coosa River. A paved highway now traces the trail that was cut from Nashville to Horseshoe Bend by Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson on his way to fight the Creek Native Americans in a battle known today as the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. Known in the beginning as Coosa Bend, it was later called Morgan's Cross Road. It was located at the intersection of the Gadsden-Ashville Road and Gilbert's Ferry Road. The land was passed from Edmond Jones to his son Clayton, who never married. When he died, the land passed to his sister, Luvica Morgan, who was also the wife of William Morgan. Old Harmony Church SignKnowing the importance of education, John Sheffield Jones, the grandson of Edmond Jones, an original settler, donated $1,000 and the land for the construction of the first John S. Jones Elementary School. Later, John S. Jones burned to the ground and a new elementary school was built and serves the Rainbow City area today. Rainbow Middle School and the Westbrook Christian School, also serve the Rainbow City students today. On Saturday, April 2, 1831 the church was organized at the Harmony Meeting House. Thomas Morgan served as the first pastor. A few years later, the first Baptist association was organized by Rev. John Gilliland. Harmony was one of the first five members in the association. The adjoining cemetery, Old Harmony Cemetery, has been declared a historic landmark because of its unique features. This cemetery has black and white slaves buried in it, Native Americans, single and double interment, and most of the tombstones have poems and writings on them. They say one man is buried crosswise because he lived crosswise with the world.


Rainbow City is located at 33°56′38″N 86°3′42″W / 33.94389°N 86.06167°W / 33.94389; -86.06167 (33.943964, -86.061546).[1]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 25.3 square miles (66 km2), of which, 25.1 square miles (65 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (0.67%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1960 1,625
1970 3,099 90.7%
1980 6,299 103.3%
1990 7,673 21.8%
2000 8,428 9.8%
2010 9,602 13.9%
Est. 2013 9,658 0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[2]
2013 Estimate[3]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 8,428 people, 3,586 households, and 2,517 families residing in the city. The population density was 335.3 people per square mile (129.5/km²). There were 3,824 housing units at an average density of 152.1 per square mile (58.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.09% White, 3.51% Black or African American, 0.34% Native American, 1.45% Asian, 0.51% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. 1.45% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 3,586 households out of which 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.9% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.8% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.0% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,216, and the median income for a family was $50,844. Males had a median income of $38,278 versus $26,483 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,860. About 6.9% of families and 8.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.7% of those under age 18 and 7.5% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°56′38″N 86°03′42″W / 33.943964°N 86.061546°W / 33.943964; -86.061546