Cherokee County, Georgia

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Cherokee County, Georgia
Old Cherokee County Courthouse; Canton, Georgia; November 4, 2012.JPG
The Old Cherokee County Court House in Canton, Built in 1929
Map of Georgia highlighting Cherokee County
Location in the state of Georgia
Map of the United States highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location in the U.S.
Founded December 21, 1830
Named for Cherokee people
Seat Canton
Largest city Woodstock
 • Total 433.99 sq mi (1,124 km2)
 • Land 423.68 sq mi (1,097 km2)
 • Water 10.31 sq mi (27 km2), 2.38%
 • (2010) 214,346
 • Density 335/sq mi (129/km²)
Congressional district 11th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Cherokee County is a suburban county located in the US state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 214,346.[1] The county seat is Canton.[2]

Cherokee County is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Original territory[edit]

1822 map of Cherokee lands in Georgia

Originally, Cherokee County was more like a territory than a county, covering everything northwest of the Chattahoochee River and Chestatee River except for Carroll County. This county was created December 26, 1831 by the state legislature. It was named after the Cherokee Indians who lived in the area at that time. Several other counties were carved out of these Cherokee lands as part of the Cherokee Land Lottery of 1832.[3]

1834 map of counties created from Cherokee land

An act of the Georgia General Assembly passed on December 3 of that year created the counties of Forsyth, Lumpkin, Union, Cobb, Gilmer, Murray, Cass (now Bartow), Floyd, and Paulding.[4] The forcible (sometimes at gunpoint) removal of the Cherokee people, leading up to the notorious Trail of Tears, began in this area the year before, later accelerated by the discovery of gold in local streams.

The first county seat was at Harnageville, originally called Marble Works. Since 1880 that town has been called Tate, and it is now (since 1853) in Pickens County. Part of that county was taken directly from Cherokee, the other via Gilmer (itself earlier taken from Cherokee).

Remaining county[edit]

In 1857, part of the southeastern corner of the county was ceded by the General Assembly to form Milton County (now the city of Milton in the county of Fulton). In the 1890s, The Atlanta & Knoxville Railroad (later renamed the Marietta & North Georgia Railroad when it could not be completed to Knoxville) built a branch line up through the middle of the county. When this line was bought by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad the following decade, the L&N built train depots at Woodstock and other towns.


Cherokee County is a part of the Atlanta metro area. It is bisected by Interstate 575, which runs from Marietta north through Woodstock, Lebanon, Holly Springs, Canton, the county seat, and Ball Ground, ending at the Pickens County line into Georgia 515, the Appalachian Parkway developmental highway. The Georgia Northeastern Railroad also operates freight service on the former L&N tracks, roughly parallel to this route. Population growth follows the same general pattern as well, with new suburbs in the south following the highway toward exurbs further north.


According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 433.99 square miles (1,124.0 km2), of which 423.68 square miles (1,097.3 km2) (or 97.62%) is land and 10.31 square miles (26.7 km2) (or 2.38%) is water,[5] much of which is Lake Allatoona in the southwest. The lake is fed by the Etowah and Little rivers (the county's primary waterways), and other large streams such as Noonday Creek. Much of the northern part of the county begins to rise toward the foothills, and most of it is in the Coosa River watershed.


There are nine summits listed by the USGS GNIS as being in the county. From tallest to lowest, they are:

  1. Bear Mountain – 2,297 feet (700 m) – 34°18'48N, 84°38'53"W
  2. Pine Log Mountain – 2,260 feet (689 m) – 34°19'15"N, 84°38'29"W
  3. Oakey Mountain – 1,686 feet (514 m) – 34°22'56"N, 84°33'51"W
  4. Dry Pond Mountain – 1,644 feet (501 m) – 34°22'29"N, 84°33'23"W
  5. Hickory Log Mountain – 1,545 feet (471 m) – 34°17'05"N, 84°30'10"W
  6. Polecat Mountain – 1,503 feet (458 m) – 34°16'27"N, 84°31'31"W
  7. Byrd Mountain – 1,358 feet (414 m) – 34°17'16"N, 84°31'04"W
  8. Garland Mountain – 1,348 feet (411 m) – 34°21'48"N, 84°35'52"W
  9. Posey Mountain – 1,306 feet (398 m) – 34°24'35"N, 084°36'40"

These mountains are in the still-rural northern and western parts of the county. However, if considered part of metro Atlanta, Bear Mountain is the tallest in the metro area.

Major highways[edit]

Interstate highways[edit]

State routes[edit]

Other roads[edit]

  • Bells Ferry Road (Old SR 205)
  • East Cherokee Drive
  • Towne Lake Parkway
  • Arnold Mill Road
  • Yellow Creek Road
  • Upper and Lower Burris Road
  • Alabama Road (SR 92)
  • Wade Green Road
  • Kellogg Creek Road (Old SR 92)
  • Canton Highway (Old SR 5)
  • Marietta Highway (Old SR 5)
  • Ball Ground Highway (Old SR 5)
  • Old Marietta Road (Old SR 20)
  • Hickory Flat Road (SR 140)
  • Univeter Road

Adjacent counties[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 5,895
1850 12,800 117.1%
1860 11,291 −11.8%
1870 10,399 −7.9%
1880 14,325 37.8%
1890 15,412 7.6%
1900 15,243 −1.1%
1910 16,661 9.3%
1920 18,569 11.5%
1930 20,003 7.7%
1940 20,126 0.6%
1950 20,750 3.1%
1960 23,001 10.8%
1970 31,059 35.0%
1980 51,699 66.5%
1990 90,204 74.5%
2000 141,903 57.3%
2010 214,346 51.1%
Est. 2012 221,315 3.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
2012 Estimate[7]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 141,903 people, 49,495 households, and 39,200 families residing in the county. The population density was 335 people per square mile (129/km²). There were 51,937 housing units at an average density of 123 per square mile (47/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 81.29% White, 5.44% Black or African American, 0.38% Native American, 2.06% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.61% from other races, and 1.29% from two or more races. 9.60% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 49,495 households out of which 41.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.20% were married couples living together, 8.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.80% were non-families. 16.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.18.

In the county the population was spread out with 28.30% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 35.80% from 25 to 44, 21.70% from 45 to 64, and 6.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 100.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $60,896, and the median income for a family was $66,419. Males had a median income of $44,374 versus $31,036 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,871. About 3.50% of families and 5.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.50% of those under age 18 and 9.80% of those age 65 or over.


Public schools[edit]

The number of students in the Cherokee County School District has increased from 28,000 in 2000 to 38,828 adding hundreds of students each year. The faculty number has risen to over 4000.

Private schools[edit]

Private schools in Cherokee County include:

Higher education[edit]


The Cherokee County Airport (FAA LOC ID: CNI) is located adjacent to I-575 about six miles (10 km) northeast of downtown Canton, GA.

A redevelopment project recently completed:

– a 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) terminal;

– the lengthening of the runway from 3,414 feet (1,041 m) to 5,000 feet (1,500 m);

– a new parallel taxiway;

– instrument landing equipment;

– new hangars.

The new facilities will accommodate 200 hangared corporate aircraft and provide 100 tie-downs for smaller aircraft.

Public transportation[edit]

The Cherokee Area Transit Service (CATS) serves all of the Cherokee County area rural and suburban.

Incorporated cities[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ United States Census Bureau. "2010 Census Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "GeorgiaInfo has moved :: Carl Vinson Institute of Government". Retrieved July 22, 2010. [dead link]
  4. ^ "GeorgiaInfo has moved :: Carl Vinson Institute of Government". Retrieved July 22, 2010. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". Retrieved February 13, 2011. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved July 20, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved July 20, 2013. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[edit]

Local Newspapers[edit]

Coordinates: 34°14′N 84°28′W / 34.24°N 84.47°W / 34.24; -84.47