Leeds, Alabama is a tri-county municipality located in Jefferson, St. Clair, and Shelby counties in Alabama. Leeds is an eastern suburb of Birmingham. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 11,773.
Leeds Alabama History
Lying at the crossroads of desecrated ancient Native-American paths in the center of Alabama, Leeds drew European and African-American settlers to a land of fertile growing seasons and rich sources of coal and mineral ore. The Standard Portland Cement manufacturing plant was constructed in Leeds in 1906.
The settlement, dating to 1818 and incorporating on April 27, 1887 as “Leeds.” Leeds arose along an Indian trail in an area that was settled largely by veterans of the War of 1812 and the Creek War of 1813-14. The trail would evolve into a substantial stagecoach route and prompt the growth of a community named Cedar Grove, with a post office being established in the late 1820s or early 1830s. That town was renamed Oak Ridge in 1869.
Leeds has existed along the banks of the Little Cahaba River along two large railroads, Georgia Pacific Railway from Birmingham to Atlanta, for the greater part of American History.
Leeds Alabama Demographics
As of the census of 2010, there were 11,773 people, and 4,818 households in Leeds. The population density was 514.9 people per square mile. There were 5,221 housing units at an average density of 205.2 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 78.7% White, 14.3% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, and 2% from two or more races. 6.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Leeds Alabama Events
Leeds Downtown Folk Festival & John Henry Celebration
The tale of John Henry was believed to have originated in Leeds. In this folk story, John Henry, the “steel-drivin’ man”, raced and won against a steam engine in the laying of railroad that penetrated the Oak Mountain.
Based on documentation that corresponds with the account of C.C. Spencer, who claimed in the 1920s to have witnessed the contest, John Garst, retired chemistry professor and folklorist of the University of Georgia, speculates that John Henry may have been a man named Henry who was born a slave to P.A.L. Dabney, the father of the chief engineer of that railroad, in 1850. Since 2007, the city of Leeds has honored John Henry’s legend during an annual festival held on the third weekend in September, the Leeds Downtown Folk Festival & John Henry Celebration.
Leeds Alabama Places of Interest
Alabama’s Best Kept Secret. Set in 57,000 square feet of space and featuring over 400 antique dealers you can easily pick up a souvenir of your stay or a keepsake for a loved one. Since September 2005, Bama Flea Mall & Antiques Center has attracted customers from Leeds, Alabama. As well as customers from all over the world.
Before the city of Leeds was incorporated, Rowan Oaks was purchased by Thomas Rowan, an early settler to the area.
Ruffner Mountain is home to over 14 miles of trails for hiking, picnicking, bird and wildlife watching.
Bar-b-q we’re proud of in Leeds, Alabama, including ribs, pork, brisket, chicken, and even vegetarian jackfruit. Catering your event like it’s our own. Also known for our food truck, our Southern cooking, our burger, and our pies.
Drive-In Movie Theater, Mini Golf, Dog Park, Playground and superior concessions! Hot dogs, craft beer, nachos and the best Burger in B’ham served up daily starting at 6pm!
Leeds Alabama Map