Originally known as Parker Town after the many members of the Parker family who settled in the area, Rainsville was renamed after first settler on the actual town site, Will Rains, who moved to the town around the turn of the twentieth century. He opened the first store there in 1907, and the structure later housed one of the early schools. Long known as the largest community on Sand Mountain, the town was largely centered on an agriculture-based economy for most of its early history. It is also the home of the Sand Mountain Electric Cooperative.
Rainsville was one of several Alabama communities in the path of a series of tornadoes that struck the state on April 27, 2011; houses and businesses, the Rainsville Civic Center, and the high school were severely damaged, and there were at least 32 deaths in DeKalb County.
According to 2020 Census estimates, Rainsville recorded a population of 5,038. Of that number, 84.3 percent identified themselves as white, 9.6 percent as Hispanic, 4.1 percent as two or more races, 2.3 percent as American Indian, and 0.4 as African American. The town’s median household income was $38,028 and the per capita income was $21,558.
According to 2020 Census estimates, the workforce in Rainsville was divided among the following industrial categories:
- Manufacturing (28.2 percent)
- Information (17.6 percent)
- Educational services and health care and social assistance (13.1 percent)
- Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (10.9 percent)
- Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services (6.7 percent)
- Retail trade (6.5 percent)
- Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (4.9 percent)
- Construction (3.5 percent)
- Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (2.9 percent)
- Public administration (2.2 percent)
- Wholesale trade (1.8 percent)
- Other services, except public administration (1.6 percent)
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extraction (0.1 percent)
Schools in Rainsville are part of the DeKalb County School District; the town has one K-12 school.
State Highway 75 runs northeast-southwest through the city, and State Highway 35 runs northwest-southeast. Interstate 59 lies approximately 10 miles southeast of the city. Scottsboro Municipal Airport is located 20 miles northwest of the city.
Events and Places of Interest
Rainsville has a city park with a swimming pool, tennis courts, a walking track, picnic tables, and a playground, as well as a sports complex with baseball and softball fields, and a separate softball complex.
Rainsville holds an annual Christmas parade in early December.
DeKalb County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of DeKalb County, Alabama, Vol. I. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc., 1998.
DeKalb County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of DeKalb County, Alabama, Vol. II. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc., 2008.