In 1796, General Moses Cleveland arrived at the Cuyahoga River to survey the land for the Connecticut Land Company. Cleveland never dreamed that there would be a major Ohio city there named for him. Although the spelling later changed, the city's history had begun.
Settlers began to arrive at what was then called the Western Reserve. On December 23, 1814, the village of Cleveland was incorporated. It was a significant development because the village became a trade center. By 1831, it had a newspaper called the Cleveland Advertiser; the paper changed the spelling so the name would fit on its masthead.
John W. Willey was an important historic figure. He wrote the city's first Municipal Charter and established its first business district. The building of the Ohio and Erie Canals greatly facilitated trade. In the 19th century, the city became a major industrial center. It was an important Lake Erie port for coal and iron ore and a major steel and oil refining town.
The Roaring Twenties were good times. Jobs were plentiful in auto manufacturing and construction, and in 1927, the Terminal Tower was begun. On the other hand, Prohibition led to crime; then the stock market crash of 1929 produced the Great Depression. However, the city's historical productivity saved it from much difficulty, and in the 1940s, Mayor Frank J. Lausche developed its first transit system. Lausche went on to become governor of Ohio.
The post war manufacturing boom made Cleveland affluent again, but the loss of the steel industry in the 1980s hit the city hard. Mayor George Voinovich initiated construction projects like the Key Tower and the Sohio Building. He got the city out of default. Then in the 1990s, some of its most famous attractions were built, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Quicken Loans Arena and Cleveland Browns Stadium.
In 2016, the city hosted the Democratic National Convention, and it continues to invest in projects, especially in the areas of health and education. The village once known as "Cleveland" has come a long way since pioneer days, and its future still looks bright.