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About Cullman

Cullman is a thriving 21st Century community fueled by its quaint heritage and indelible Southern charm!

Cullman annually hosts numerous local, regional and national events including tournaments, festivals and fairs while offering an impressive array of local attractions, parks, hotels, restaurants and retail establishments as well as expanded shopping, cultural, sporting and entertainment opportunities due to its convenient location between Birmingham and Huntsville. Cullman City Parks and Recreation was a finalist for the National Gold Medal Award (Top 4 in the U.S.) from 2010 through 2013.

With a 4.8% unemployment rate, a 9.00% sales tax and an extremely low crime rate, the community is an ideal environment to start a family, own a business, work, play, worship, shop, live. Cullman was voted the #1 Best Place to Raise Children in Alabama by Bloomberg Businessweek in 2013.

Cullman City Schools rank above the state average in Stanford 10 test scores, consistently rank in the Top 10 in Alabama and was 2nd in the state in 2015 for overall student achievement. Cullman High School was listed among “America’s Best High Schools” by Newsweek and among “America’s Most Challenging High Schools” by The Washington Post.

Cullman has a diverse and growing business community. In 2014, Cullman received a Silver Excellence in Economic Development Award for Business Retention & Expansion from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC); was ranked #5 as Most Business Friendly City in Alabama by the Alabama Policy Institute; and was named the #3 U.S. Micropolitan Area by Site Selection magazine. In addition, Cullman was named #1 in Alabama for New & Expanding Industry in 2013 rankings by the State of Alabama, and Southern Business & Development magazine ranked Cullman the #6 Community that is a Manufacturing Location No-Brainer.

Cullman has an excellent year-round climate with short mild winters and long warm summers. The City of Cullman is also a very "green," city - having been named a Tree City USA for 28 consecutive years due to our commitment to preserving and planting trees and shrubbery throughout the City of Cullman.

The City of Cullman is governed by a Mayor and a five-member City Council. The Mayor and Council members are elected to concurrent four-year terms. The City Council appoints the City Clerk and the City Treasurer. The City Council holds meetings twice a month on the 2nd and 4th Monday nights at 7:00 p.m. in the City Hall Auditorium.

Cullman has much to offer: One of the best school systems in the state, amazing tourist attractions, thriving and growing businesses and industries, a diverse medical community and state-of-the-art hospital, lots of parks and recreational outlets, and much more. There are many factors that make Cullman the best place to live, work, worship, play, and raise a family!

For more information on those topics: Cullman City Schools, Visit Cullman, Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce, Cullman City Parks & Recreation, Cullman City Economic Development Agency, Cullman County Museum, Cullman Oktoberfest, Rock the South, Bloomin' Festival, Cullman County Courthouse, Cullman County Schools, Wallace State Community College, Cullman County Economic Development, Cullman County Parks & Recreation, Cullman Regional Medical Center

HISTORY

Cullman was founded by Col. Johann Gottfried Cullmann, a German refugee who came to America in 1866. While working at a bookstore in Cincinnati, Ohio, he began formulating ideas of a special colony of working people - specifically a place for immigrants from countries such as his native Germany. He read about the vast unsettled lands in the South, and bought passage on a boat to Florence, Alabama. There he met with Governor Patton and presented his idea. The Governor furnished men and horses for him to explore available lands in North Alabama.

He finally met with Lewis Fink, the land agent for the great South-North Railroad (later the L&N), which had just built a line through the wilderness from Decatur to Montgomery, After a careful survey, he contracted with the railroad for 349,000 acres with the stipulation that Col. Cullmann would pay for all advertising of the land and other expenses incurred in bringing the desired immigrants to the area. Col. Cullmann found the area to be perfect for his dream colony.

Cullmann then went back north and began to advertise for colonists. In April of 1873, the first five families came by train to the spot where Cullman now stands. Each was allotted a plot of ground. The colony quickly grew, with American citizens and German immigrants moving to the area.

In the middle of 1874, an election was held to incorporate the town. With thirty votes cast, there were twenty-three for incorporation and seven against. It was also decided that the town would be called "Cullman" after its founder, but with only one "n."

At that time, the Cullman area was part of Blount, Winston, Morgan, and Walker counties. A movement was started in 1876 to create a new county, but the idea was met with opposition from the other counties. In that day, an area was required to have a population of more than 9,500 before it could be considered for the creation of a new county. With the population requirement being met, Cullman County was formed in 1877 by the state legislature.

For the next twenty years, Col. Cullmann was instrumental in the growth of Cullman and Cullman County. He would bring in groups  of settlers, sell them land, and then use that money to send back to Germany for more settlers. Between 1871 and 1895, Col. Cullmann brought more than 100,000 immigrants to the South from Europe and other parts of the United States.

HISTORICAL PHOTOS (Click on the photos to enlarge.)

Incorporation Document - 1873  Cullman's First Fire Station  Early Road Machinery in Cullman  Drilling for Oil in Cullman - 1888  Early Cullman Street Scene             

For more information on Cullman's history and heritage, call or visit the Cullman County Museum.  

SISTER CITY - FRANKWEILER, GERMANY

Frankweiler, Germany, was the hometown of our founder, Col. John G. Cullmann. A permanent partnership was formed in 1987 between Cullman and Frankweiler. Frankweiler is situated on the eastern slopes of the Haardt Mountains, about 6 km north of Landau "The Garden Town." It is a municipality in Sűdliche Weinstrasse district in Rhineland-Palatinate in western Germany.

The organizations Cullman Friends of Frankweiler and Frankweiler Friends of Cullman were organized in an effort to maintain and encourage cultural exchanges and personal relationships between Cullman, Alabama, and Frankweiler, Germany. The two groups have made many visits back and forth since our partnership began. For more information on our partnership with Frankweiler, Germany, contact the Cullman County Museum at 256-739-1258. Or, check out the Friends of Frankweiler page on Facebook

This excerpt from the Cullman Friends of Frankweiler Facebook page details our partnership with Frankweiler:

Friends Across the Ocean, Friends Across Time

(A brief history of the association between the citizens of John Cullmann's hometown, Frankweiler, Germany and their counterparts in Cullman, Alabama.)

When the citizens of Cullman began the town's one-hundredth birthday, thoughts naturally turned to John Cullmann, founding father and his native land of Germany. Small seeds were planted during the centennial year of 1973 when Hans Krause, representative of Lufthansa Airline of Germany presented Cullman's Mayor, W.J.
Nesmith with a book compiled by the airline containing information about John Cullmann with greetings from the Burgermeister of Frankweiler, Germany, Cullmann's hometown.

In August of 1975 these seeds began to bear fruit when five visitors from Frankweiler, past Burgermeister Friedrich Fliehmann, his wife and daughter and the Burgermeister of that time, Theodor Pfaffmann and the city clerk of Frankweiler were present at the dedication of the Colonel Cullmann house, home of the Cullman County Museum.

Many wondered if the Colonel had any direct descendants left in Germany since both of Cullmann's sons, who came to America, died young. The only possible direct descendants would have been through his daughter who remained in Germany with her mother.

A little detective work turned up a great-great-granddaughter of John Cullmann, Ellen van der Linden, of Konigstein, Germany. Also, there was a great-great nephew who lived in Cullman, Stanley Johnston. His sister, Julia Emanuel, of Lancaster, South Carolina was a great-great niece. In 1985, Ellen van der Linden, visited Cullman and met with Stanley and his sister.

An invitation from Gunter Stiess, Burgermeister of Frankweiler, was extended to Mayor Jack Sides to attend a special ceremony in John Cullmann's birthplace of Frankweiler, Germany. This ceremony was to honor Colonel Cullmann's contribution as the founder of the City of Cullman. In May of 1987, a delegation of 19 Cullman citizens, led by Mayor Jack Sides, and his wife, Ruth, attended the celebration marking a permanent partnership between the two cities.

The next year, a group of 47 visitors from Frankweiler arrived in Cullman for a visit and thus began a tradition of exchanging visits every two years. Those who have had an opportunity to experience this special bond between the two cities, either as a host or guest, have many fond and special memories.