The first white settlers in the area that now encompasses Center Point arrived around 1816, when a family named Reed relocated there from North Carolina. In 1871, Dave Franklin built a log cabin in what is now Center Point, making him the first settler in current city limits. By the early 1900s, the Center Point Community had several business including a blacksmith's shop and a post office.
An elementary school was built in 1924, using stones gathered from the area. A steady water supply for the city was discovered in 1947, enabling rapid expansion of the area. By 1967, Center Point was recognized as the largest unincorporated community in the United States, with a population of 64,000.
After several years of study and obtaining petitions, Center Point incorporated in March 2002, with its first municipal elections being held the following month. The former Center Point Elementary School building was pressed into service as the city hall.
Center Point's population according to the 2010 Census was 16,921. Of that number, 62.9 percent of respondents identified themselves as African American, 32.6 percent as white, 4.8 percent as Hispanic or Latino, 1.1 percent as two or more races, 0.4 percent as Asian, and 0.2 percent as Native American. The town's median household income, according to 2010 estimates, was $43,459, and the per capita income was $19,594.
According to 2010 Census estimates, the work force in Center Point was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (23.0 percent)
· Retail trade (17.2 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (10.3 percent)
· Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (8.0 percent)
· Manufacturing (7.9 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (7.8 percent)
· Public administration (6.6 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (5.5 percent)
· Construction (4.4 percent)
· Wholesale trade (3.5 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (3.5 percent)
· Information (2.2 percent)
Schools in Center Point are part of the Jefferson County school system; the town has approximately 2,625 students and 167 teachers in one elementary school, one intermediate school, one middle school, and one high school.
Interstate Highway 59, running southwest-northeast, is located about two miles southeast of Center Point. State Highway 79, also running southwest-northeast, is located on the northwest border of the town.
Center Point maintains three city parks that feature baseball, softball, and football fields, playgrounds, a walking trail, picnic pavilions, an amphitheater, and a nineteenth century house that can be rented for special occasions. It also is part of the Five Mile Creek Greenway Project.
The city holds an annual Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt with concessions and prizes. In April, the city holds a Festival of the
Springs in Reed-Harvey Park, featuring music, food, arts and crafts, and activities for children.
Jefferson County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Jefferson County. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2002.
James P. Kaetz
Published June 18, 2013
Last updated June 20, 2013