Cherokee, commerce, and Chattanooga – these might be the “three C’s” best associated with this small town in southeast Tennessee. Cleveland is a fairly nondescript, small Southern town located along I-81 at the base of the Appalachian and Great Smoky mountains within long commute range of Chattanooga. The Cherokee heritage adds some historic interest, and nearby mountains and the Cherokee National Forest offer plenty of outdoor recreation. Chattanooga helps fill the gaps in amenities, cultural and recreational assets.
The area has a diverse industrial base including chemicals, food processing, machinery, furniture, paper and cardboard products. Bigger names include Maytag, Georgia Pacific, Weyerhaeuser, Archer-Daniels-Midland, and the Olin Corporation., but as the statistics show all has not been bright recently in the local economy. Lee University is affiliated with the Church of God of Prophecy, which is headquartered in this town of strong Protestant traditions.
The terrain is attractive with mostly deciduous-forested mountains nearby and especially to the east and south. The climate is continental with a strong subtropical influence, particularly in summer. Summers are very warm and humid. Winters are fairly mild but unpredictable, as the area is sheltered by the Cumberland Mountains to the northwest. But cold air arriving from the north can bring snow, and remnants of that cold air, overridden with warm moist air from the south, can produce freezing rain and ice storms. First freeze is early November, last is late March.