Garden City has the distinction of being the second city founded by Col. Johann G. Cullmann, the first being the city of Cullman in 1873. In 1876, Cullmann bought land bordering a line of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad about 13 miles south of Cullman and began recruiting settlers on his trips north. Cullmann named the new settlement Garden City for of its lush vegetation and also as a marketing point.
In 1878, 12 families from the Chicago area settled in the new town. Some of these families had lost everything and even been injured in the Chicago fire in 1871. The town incorporated in 1878, although one source cites the date as 1911. A post office was established in 1881, and the first church opened in 1885. A school connected with the church opened around 1886, and the building was used over the years by other churches.
The first public school opened in the late nineteenth century, with a new building being constructed in 1901. This building was replaced in 1934. A covered bridge built over the Mulberry River in 1892 allowed for easier access to the rest of the county (at this point the town was still entirely in Blount County); before, travelers had to ford the river had to cross it. Garden City became part of Cullman County in 1901 when the county lines were changed, although part of the town is still in Blount county. U.S. Highway 31 was built through the town in 1939, further connecting it with the rest of the state. Because its original incorporation had lapsed, Garden City was reincorporated in 1950.
According to the 2010 Census, Garden City had a population of 492. Of that number, 98.2 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 1.0 as two or more races, 0.4 percent as Native American, 0.4 percent as Hispanic, and 0.2 percent as African American. The town's median household income, according to 2009 Census estimates, was $44,167, and the per capita income was $21,129.
According to 2010 Census estimates, the work force in Garden City was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (22.6 percent)
· Construction (16.4 percent)
· Manufacturing (13.7 percent)
· Retail trade (11.6 percent)
· Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (11.3 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (10.3 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (6.5 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (6.5 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (1.0 percent)
Schools in Garden City are part of the Cullman County School system; the town has approximately 130 students and 10 teachers in one elementary school.
Garden City is served by U.S. Highway 31, which runs north-south through the city. Interstate Highway 65 is located about 6 miles west of town, running north-south.
Events and Places of Interest
Because of its proximity to the Mulberry Fork of the Black Warrior River, Garden City plays host to whitewater aficionados year-round and is the venue for the annual Mulberry Fork Races on the river, which take place in March. Garden City maintains one city park and a walking trail.
The Bangor United Methodist Church and the Garden City School are listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
Jones, Margaret Jean. Combing Cullman County. Cullman, Ala.: Modernistic Printers, Inc. 1972
James P. Kaetz
Published March 4, 2013
Last updated March 4, 2013