Gardendale, class of 2019, designated 2021, cityofgardendale.com
Located in north Jefferson County with a geographic closeness to the Birmingham Metro, Gardendale’s placement along I-65 funnels many people through the city on the way to Birmingham and the beaches as well as assists in attracting medical related businesses to the community due to the proximity to the medical centers in Birmingham’s expanding medical community.
Officially incorporated in 1955, what is now Gardendale was originally settled in the mid-1820s by veterans of the War of 1812 along an existing Indian trade route. It became known as Jugtown because of a local pottery industry. In 1906, local schoolteacher Hettie Thompson Cargo successfully lobbied to have the town’s name changed to Gardendale, and, during the mid-1930s, Gardendale became the site of a New Deal resettlement community for people displaced by the Great Depression. With a population of just over 16,000, Gardendale hosts many events and activities, including its annual spring Magnolia Festival at the Gardendale Civic Center complex featuring more than 150 vendors, two stages of live music, a pooch parage, midway style carnival, car show, kid zone, petting zoo and pony rides.