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Claire M. Wilson, Auburn University
Glencoe is located in southern Etowah and northern Calhoun Counties in the northeast section of the state, bordering the city of Gadsden. It has a mayor/city council form of government.
Silver Lakes
Glencoe began as a farming community. The community began to grow after a rock quarry located in the area in 1853 and began to build around the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, which also had come through the area. A post office opened in 1877. The town was named after the town of Glencoe in Scotland. By the turn of the century, five quarries were operating near Glencoe. Glencoe High School opened in 1918, supplementing a grammar school that had existed in the area for many years. A second high school was built in 1959, the same year that Glencoe Elementary was established as a separate school. Several local men served in World War I, and the Great Depression halted progress in the town as it did all across the state. The city incorporated in 1939, gained electric power through a contract with Alabama Power Company in 1941, a city-run water system in 1944, and a volunteer fire department by 1946. Home delivery of mail began in 1962.
According to 2016 Census estimates, Glencoe recorded a population of 5,160. Of that number, 90.1 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 5.5 percent as African American, 2.3 percent as two or more races, 1.7 percent as Native American, 0.2 percent as Hispanic, and 0.1 percent as Asian. The town's median household income was $48,860, and the per capita income was $24,471.
According to 2016 Census estimates, the work force in Glencoe was divided among the following industrial categories:
  • Manufacturing (29.5 percent)
  • Educational services, and health care and social assistance (24.3 percent)
  • Retail trade (8.2 percent)
  • Construction (8.0 percent)
  • Finance and insurance, real estate, and rental and leasing (6.6 percent)
  • Transportation, warehousing, and utilities (5.9 percent)
  • Professional, scentific, and administrative and waste management services (4.9 percent)
  • Wholesale trade (3.5 percent)
  • Other services, except public administration (3.2 percent)
  • Information (2.5 percent)
  • Public administration (1.3 percent)
  • Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (1.1 percent)
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (0.8 percent)
Glencoe schools are part of the Etowah County School System. The town has one elementary school, one middle school, and one high school.
Glencoe is bisected by U.S. Highway 431, which runs northwest-south through the town. Northeast Alabama Regional Airport is located 15 miles to the west.
Events and Places of Interest
Glencoe maintains two city parks, both along Cove Creek. They include a municipal pool, softball and baseball fields, basketball and tennis courts, pavilions, and a walking track. For the past decade the city has sponsored an annual Celebration in the Park with vendors, food, recreation for children, an antique car and tractor show, and music. It also holds an annual Cookies with Santa celebration. The Silver Lakes Golf Course, part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, is located in Glencoe. In addition, the town is located on the Coosa River, which offers fishing and recreational opportunities.

Additional Resources

Etowah County Centennial Committee. The History of Etowah County. Birmingham, Ala.: Roberts and Sons, 1968.
Etowah County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Etowah County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants Inc., 1999.
Published:  December 12, 2012   |   Last updated:  January 19, 2021