La Vale is a census designated place. The LaVale (Cumberland) post office, zip code 21502, is located at 215 Park Street.
The area now known as LaVale was originally a collection of small neighborhoods, each with their own name and identity. In 1909, David P. Miller began to develop a residential subdivision along the National Road. He named the new community "LaVale," after his birthplace in western Pennsylvania. Although never incorporated or officially designated, "LaVale" quickly became the unofficial name for the collection of neighborhoods along the National Road.
The name "LaVale" became official in 1947, when the LaVale Sanitary Commission was established to provide water for residents of Election District 29. Later, the boundaries of the Sanitary Commission were redrawn to conform with the boundaries of the election district. A decade later, Maryland Senate Bill 438 established the LaVale Zoning District (whose boundaries also matched those of Election District 29). LaVale's zoning, which was enacted in part to curb the expansion of a scrap metal yard along Braddock Run, preceded Allegany County's first zoning ordinance.
Today, the LaVale Region, defined as the combination of Election District 29 (LaVale) and Election District 20 (Ellerslie and Corriganville), remains an important center of activity for Allegany County and the broader region. LaVale has the largest concentration of existing commercial land in the County, as well a large amount of land that is suitable for future commercial development. The combination of historic and natural resources, transportation mobility, and distinct community character continue to make LaVale and surrounding neighborhoods and towns desirable places to live.