|City of Calera|
|School district||Shelby County Schools|
|Locate with Google Maps|
Calera (incorporated in 1887) is a center for lime manufacture and a fast-growing residential community in southern Shelby County. The 2020 U.S. Census counted 16,494 residents, and increase of over 400% from the 2000 total of 3,158 residents.
The city's growth has been spurred by the development of dozens of new residential subdivisions. The city has an area of 12.9 square miles, virtually all dry land, some of which extends into Chilton County to the south.
The area around Calera was first settled in 1821 by John R. Gamble, who bought 100 acres on August 31 of that year. By 1850 the small community of farmers in the area was called Buxahatchie. After the arrival of the railroads in 1855, the area became known for its lime kilns and a Confederate post office was established in the community. During and immediately after the Civil War the town was variously known as Limeville, Lime Kilns, Lime City and Lime Station. When a U. S. post office was established in early 1869 the name Calera (from the latin calx for lime) was chosen to distinguish the town from other lime centers. In 1883 several of the independent lime operations merged into the Alabama Lime Company. The Calera Shoe Factory was another early industry. The presence of a Calera Railroad Depot also gave the town an advantage as a produce market and entertainment center, with three major hotels hosting frequent dances. The Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum is now located near downtown Calera.
The community was incorporated after a successful election on June 7, 1887. The first mayor was John H. Dunstan, who was assisted by a board of eight aldermen from four voting wards. Calera was the home of several newspapers, including the Shelby Sentinel, Tariff and Labor Advocate, Farmer's Alliance, Shelby County Review, and the Calera Independent.
In June 2021 Calera adopted a "Plan Calera" 15-year comprehensive plan developed through the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham and Birmingham Metropolitan Planning Organization's "Building Communities" program, using federal funds authorized by the 2015 FAST Act. The plan included proposals for "catalytic projects" including an entertainment district focused on underutilized spaces behind downtown buildings separated from major truck routes, and a "destination park" in the downtown area, streetscape improvements on U.S. Highway 31, a multi-use trail along Buxahatchee Creek, and leveraging the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum to promote tourism.
Calera's current mayor is Jon Graham. After a dispute with the U. S. Justice Department over the 2008 election results, the City Council converted to six, at-large seats in 2009. That was later changed to "cumulative voting" in order the preserve the voting rights of minorities. The council meets on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month at Calera City Hall. Calera has its own fire department and police department and supports the Calera Public Library.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,158 people, 1,248 households, and 888 families residing in the city. The population density was 244.9/mi². There were 1,400 housing units at an average density of 108.6/mi². The racial makeup of the city was 77% White and 20% African American. 2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,248 households out of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.1% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.8% were non-families. 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.04.
In the city the population was spread out with 26.7% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 31.7% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 93.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,650, and the median income for a family was $42,885. Males had a median income of $34,042 versus $21,750 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,395. About 12.2% of families and 12.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.8% of those under age 18 and 3.2% of those age 65 or over.
- Shanavia Dowdell, professional basketball player
- Hut Stricklin, NASCAR driver
- Virgil Trucks, Major League Baseball pitcher
- Roberts, Barbara Baker (1976) Early History of Calera, Alabama. Montevallo: Times Printing Co.
- "Calera, Alabama" (June 27, 2007) Wikipedia - accessed June 28, 2007
- Vickery, Scottie (January 9, 2009) "Calera has two mayors, two sets of council members." The Birmingham News
| Shelby County|