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Cordova
City
Main Street, Cordova in 1993
Main Street, Cordova in 1993
Location in Walker County and the state of Alabama
Location in Walker County and the state of Alabama
Country United States
State Alabama
County Walker
Area
 • Total 6 sq mi (15.4 km2)
 • Land 5.9 sq mi (15.3 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 302 ft (92 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 2,095
 • Density 403.8/sq mi (157.3/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 35550
Area code(s) 205
FIPS code 01-17368
GNIS feature ID 0116626

Cordova is a city in Walker County, Alabama, United States. It was incorporated in 1897. At the 2010 census the population was 2,095, down from 2,423 in 2000.

History

Cordova was originally a settlement on the Mulberry Fork of the Black Warrior River called "Dent" or "Dent's Place." The city was dubbed "Cordova" by Captain Benjamin M. Long in 1859. He named the city after a city in Mexico in which he was stationed during the Mexican War. Long himself opened a mercantile shop in the city and helped lure other industries into the city by providing the land necessary for their operations. The company that had the biggest impact on the City was Nashua Manufacturing Company out of Nashua, New Hampshire, who brought in the Indian Head Textile Mills. The mill brought with it many jobs, and as was customary of the day its own village. The company built over 100 houses in the city, many of which are still standing, and occupied today. The company even built the Indian Head school on the site of present-day "Cordova Health and Rehabilitation Center." The mill helped to bring two major railways to the city, which at the time helped connect the city to much of the surrounding area. The mill eventually became its own "town" and even had its own separate police force. Indian Head Mills was one of the most highly awarded textile mills during World War II. Their products were found to be above all standards set forth by the government by the War Department. The Mill was referred to by the residents as the Cordova Spinners. The same way the mill shaped the city around the turn of the 20th century it also shaped it upon its closing in the middle of the century. Population declined and industry slowed, while neighboring Jasper took a strong hold on the county seat as the largest city in the county.

Present-day Cordova

Cordova, Alabama (2011)
Main Street in 2001, prior to the tornado

With access to the Gulf of Mexico via the Warrior and Alabama Rivers, two major railways (Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Norfolk Southern), Interstate 22, and the recent addition of BAE Systems, the city is hoping for economic growth.

Gilchrist House, located near Cordova, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Tornado

On April 27, 2011, an EF-3 tornado tore through the city in the early hours of the morning and the city was hit by an EF-4 in the afternoon. It destroyed the majority of the historic downtown district including the city hall, police station, Fire Station the old Tallulah Hotel, Piggly Wiggly, People's Bank, and damaged the majority of the central business district beyond repair.The city has completed the following recovery projects since the 2011 tornadoes; $1.5 million Piggly Wiggly, $3.7 million City Hall & Police Station, $2.4 million sewer treatment plant, $1.5 million utility line replacement, and are currently completing a $250,000 Fire Station remodel.

2012 Cordova rock burst

On November 19, 2012, Cordova was hit by a minor rock burst that had a body wave magnitude of 2.6. The Mercalli intensity was estimated at II–III (Weak) in Cordova. It was felt throughout Alabama and the Southern United States, up to 500 miles (800 km) from the epicenter. By comparison, a magnitude 3.6 event on the West Coast would not be felt 200 miles (320 km) from the epicenter.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.9 square miles (15 km2), of which 5.9 square miles (15 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.84%) is water. Cordova is located in the rolling foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, near the banks of the Mulberry Fork of the Warrior River.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 567
1910 1,747 208.1%
1920 1,622 −7.2%
1930 1,830 12.8%
1940 1,881 2.8%
1950 3,156 67.8%
1960 3,184 0.9%
1970 2,750 −13.6%
1980 3,123 13.6%
1990 2,623 −16.0%
2000 2,423 −7.6%
2010 2,095 −13.5%
Est. 2015 2,028 −3.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
2013 Estimate

As of the census of 2000, there were 2,423 people, 1,009 households, and 665 families residing in the city. The population density was 411.0 people per square mile (158.6/km2). There were 1,180 housing units at an average density of 200.2 per square mile (77.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 85.60% White, 13.25% Black or African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.04% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.29% from other races, and 0.58% from two or more races. 0.91% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,009 households out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.3% were married couples living together, 18.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.0% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the city, the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 23.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 79.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $17,389, and the median income for a family was $24,896. Males had a median income of $32,353 versus $19,549 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,489. About 25.6% of families and 26.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.4% of those under age 18 and 14.9% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 2,095 people, 842 households, and 665 families residing in the city. The population density was 355.1 people per square mile (136.9/km2). There were 1,023 housing units at an average density of 173.4 per square mile (66.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 83.4% White, 14.5% Black or African American, 0.8% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0% Pacific Islander, 0.3% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. 0.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 842 households out of which 26.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.2% were married couples living together, 21.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.3% were non-families. 33.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city, the population was spread out with 22.1% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 25.0% from 45 to 64, and 20.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.2 years. For every 100 females there were 85.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $23,472, and the median income for a family was $39,185. Males had a median income of $40,868 versus $35,147 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,016. About 21.3% of families and 29.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.3% of those under age 18 and 20.2% of those age 65 or over.

Religion

The city has ten churches of multiple denominations within the 5.9 square miles (15 km2) of the city, as well five to ten churches situated just outside the city limits.

Climate

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Cordova has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.

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