About Cleveland, Georgia

In the early 1800's, the city of Cleveland, Georgia began as a small agricultural center in western Habersham County. Cleveland was officially established in 1857 as Mount Yonah. It was not incorporated until August 18, 1870. 

The village of Mount Yonah was designated to serve as the seat of government pending the choice of a permanent site for the new county courthouse. Early consideration was given to a site in or near the town of Mount Yonah by county officials.

The village of Mount Yonah is known to have existed as early as 1830, and by 1858 had grown to possess a post office, a hotel, several store houses, other business establishments and a village square, all clustered around the intersection of the Clarkesville-Dahlonega and Gainesville-Nacoochee roads.  Some of the old building structures, such as old school buildings, can still be seen today throughout White County.


In 1858, the village of Mount Yonah occupied the area along either side of what is now Underwood Street lying between Main and Church Streets. As soon as the precise location of the new courthouse was chosen, the land was purchased from the West, Hunt and Shelton families. This area was surveyed in September 1858 by Vincent F. Sears, assisted by James Crocser.

Through the first half of the 20th century, White County remained a chiefly agrarian community of various farming bases. Cattle, hogs and chickens, as well as vegetables, were sold in Cleveland markets and throughout the county. As the city of Cleveland continued to grow in population, more commercial enterprises moved into the area. All the modern amenities were available from Cleveland stores and classic Americana became synonymous with the local lifestyle.  

With the electrification of rural Georgia in the 1930's and 1940's, Cleveland saw a marked increase in the growth of business. Appliance stores, car dealerships, and something called "air-conditioning" soon followed. Cleveland found itself the center of business activity for many miles around and has held that position ever since.

Today, Cleveland is a thriving community of about 2,000 citizens that serves a larger area from the Nacoochee Valley to Mossy Creek and from Leaf in the east to Testnatee Gap in the western areas of the county. The service area for Cleveland covers approximately 1,200 square miles in any direction. Cleveland is the home of the Cabbage Patch Kids® and Babyland General Hospital, as well as numerous shops and stores that serve the local public and help support the tourism industry for White County. Many other attractions and food and fine dining are available through the area as well.

The City of Cleveland is the seat of White County with a 2010 population estimate of 2,859 persons. The City of Cleveland's land area encompasses a 1 mile diameter circle from the center of town with a few properties extending to the north and south due to annexations. The elevation of Cleveland is 1,570 feet above sea level.

Cleveland is the commercial and industrial center of White County with over 253 business licenses issued each year. Cleveland is home to the annual Easter Eggstravaganza celebration, the Christmas in the Mountains and Lighted Christmas Parade, and the Fall Leaf Festival, as well as many other events for the community's enjoyment.

Cleveland, Georgia is the "Gateway To the North Georgia Mountains." It is also a place filled with unique scenery and many interesting things to do. Rising from a small rural village in the 19th century, Cleveland has become the commercial, industrial and business hub of White County while still maintaining contact with earlier times.  

As you explore Cleveland, you will discover places like Mount Yonah and Babyland General Hospital, home of the Cabbage Patch Kids©.  For anyone with the desire to relive a part of the county's history, there are places where panning for gold is still going on today.  There are also many beautiful waterfalls in the area that can be visited with a short hike or even a day hike for the more adventurous traveler.  So come and enjoy your stay in Cleveland, Georgia - where the good life is even better! Contact us to learn more.