The city is located on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately 60 miles (100 kilometers) west of the Pennsylvania state border. It was founded by European Americans in 1796 near the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. It became a manufacturing center due to its location on the river and the lake shore, as well as being connected to numerous canals and railroad lines. Cleveland's economy has diversified sectors that include manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, and biomedical. Cleveland is also home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Cleveland was named on July 22, 1796, when surveyors of the Connecticut Land Company laid out Connecticut's Western Reserve into townships and a capital city. They named it "Cleaveland" after their leader, General Moses Cleaveland. Cleaveland oversaw design of the plan for what would become the modern downtown area, centered on Public Square, before returning home, never again to visit Ohio. The first settler in Cleaveland was Lorenzo Carter, who built a cabin on the banks of the Cuyahoga River. The Village of Cleaveland was incorporated on December 23, 1814. In spite of the nearby swampy lowlands and harsh winters, its waterfront location proved to be an advantage, giving access to Great Lakes trade.
The area began rapid growth after the 1832 completion of the Ohio and Erie Canal. This key link between the Ohio River and the Great Lakes connected the city to the Atlantic Ocean via the Erie Canal and Hudson River, and later via the St. Lawrence Seaway. Its products could reach markets on the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River. Growth continued with added railroad links. Cleveland incorporated as a city in 1836.
In 1836, the city, then located only on the eastern banks of the Cuyahoga River, nearly erupted into open warfare with neighboring Ohio City over a bridge connecting the two. Ohio City remained an independent municipality until its annexation by Cleveland in 1854.