Calhoun, Georgia

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Calhoun, Georgia
Downtown Calhoun and Courthouse
Downtown Calhoun and Courthouse
"Land of the Cherokee"[1]
Location in Gordon County and the state of Georgia
Location in Gordon County and the state of Georgia
Coordinates: 34°30′0″N 84°56′33″W / 34.50000°N 84.94250°W / 34.50000; -84.94250Coordinates: 34°30′0″N 84°56′33″W / 34.50000°N 84.94250°W / 34.50000; -84.94250
CountryUnited States
Incorporated (city)January 1852[2]
Named forJohn C. Calhoun
 • Total16.09 sq mi (41.67 km2)
 • Land16.01 sq mi (41.47 km2)
 • Water0.07 sq mi (0.19 km2)
659 ft (201 m)
 • Total15,650
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,078.56/sq mi (416.44/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
30701, 30703 (PO Boxes)
Area code(s)706/762
FIPS code13-12456[5]
GNIS feature ID0354936[6]

Calhoun is a city in Gordon County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 15,650,[7] up from 10,667 in 2000. Calhoun is the county seat of Gordon County.[8][9]


Calhoun was a part of the Cherokee Nation (including New Echota, capital of the Cherokee Nation) until December 29, 1835. Cherokee leaders such as The Ridge and William Hicks had developed numerous productive farms in the fertile Oothcaloga Valley. When the Cherokee refused to give up the remainder of their lands under the Indian Removal Act, after years of land cessions to the United States for white settlers in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, President Andrew Jackson sent US troops to the northern region of Georgia to force most of the tribe to move to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River, most notably present-day Oklahoma. (See more information on Trail of Tears.)

In December 1827, Georgia had already claimed the Cherokee lands that became Gordon County and other counties. A small town called "Dawsonville" was created and founded in the Gordon County, named for the owner of an early general store.[10] Dawsonville was later renamed "Calhoun" to honor U.S. Senator John C. Calhoun,[11] following his death in 1850.

Gordon County's inferior court called an election for the selection of the county seat, offering voters a choice between a site on the Western & Atlantic Railroad (near Adairsville) or a site more centrally located within the county. Voters chose a site along the railroad, so the inferior court designated Calhoun as county seat in 1851. The legislature incorporated Calhoun in an act approved on January 12, 1852.[12]

On January 5, 1861, Georgia seceded from the Union as a prelude to the American Civil War. Calhounians joined the Confederacy. Most warfare took place elsewhere, but on May 16, 1864, Calhoun was near where the Union General William Tecumseh Sherman and Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston postured before the Battle of Adairsville during Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. Oakleigh, the home of Dr. Wall, was used by Sherman as his headquarters at that time.

A tornado on March 20, 1888, leveled much of Calhoun. A devastating fire on October 23 of that year destroyed most of what remained.[13]


Calhoun is located west of the center of Gordon County at 34°30′0″N 84°56′33″W / 34.50000°N 84.94250°W / 34.50000; -84.94250 (34.499898, -84.942584),[14] along the Oostanaula River where it is joined by Oothkalooga Creek. It is part of the Coosa River/Alabama River watershed.

U.S. Route 41 passes through the center of town as Wall Street, and Interstate 75 runs along the eastern edge of the city, with access from Exits 310, 312, 315, 317, and 318. I-75 leads north 49 miles (79 km) to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and south 68 miles (109 km) to Atlanta. US-41, running parallel to I-75, leads north 5 miles (8.0 km) to Resaca and south 10 miles (16 km) to Adairsville. Georgia State Route 156 runs west out of town as West Line Street, leading 18 miles (29 km) to Armuchee, and heads east out of town as Red Bud Road, leading 8 miles (13 km) to Red Bud. Georgia State Route 373 (East Line Street and Dews Pond Road) leads east 8 miles (13 km) to Cash. Georgia State Route 136 (North River Street) leads northwest 30 miles (48 km) to LaFayette. Georgia State Route 53 passes through the southern part of Calhoun, leading east 15 miles (24 km) to Fairmount and southwest 22 miles (35 km) to Rome.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city of Calhoun has a total area of 15.0 square miles (38.9 km2), of which 14.9 square miles (38.7 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km2), or 0.64%, is water.[15]


The climate in this area is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Calhoun has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[16]

Climate data for Calhoun, Georgia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 10
Average low °C (°F) −2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 130
Source: Weatherbase[17]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)17,271[4]10.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[18]
Calhoun Railroad Depot was one of the train stations in 1862 where the Great Locomotive Chase passed from Adairsville, Georgia.
1960 courthouse on the site of former 1880 courthouse
Oakleigh, once a headquarters of General Sherman and home of Dr. Wall, now Gordon Historical Society

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 10,667 people, 4,049 households, and 2,672 families residing in the city. The population density was 915.4 inhabitants per square mile (353.5/km2). There were 4,298 housing units at an average density of 368.8 per square mile (142.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 77.91% White, 7.56% African American, 0.42% Native American, 1.00% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 11.61% from other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. 17.07% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 4,049 households, out of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.8% were married couples living together, 13.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.0% were non-families. 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 24.2% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,618, and the median income for a family was $42,310. Males had a median income of $27,616 versus $25,018 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,887. About 12.5% of families and 16.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.8% of those under age 18 and 19.1% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture

Museums and other points of interest

  • The Rock Garden containing miniature castles, churches, and other structures
  • New Echota Historic Site, first Cherokee capital
  • Roland Hayes Museum[19] at the Harris Arts Center[20]
  • Oakleigh/Gordon County Historical Society
  • Premium Outlets of Calhoun


Calhoun City School District

The Calhoun City School District serves preschool to grade twelve, and consists of two elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school, separate from the county school district.[21] The district has 166 full-time teachers and over 2,666 students.[22]

  • Calhoun Primary School - grades K-2
  • Calhoun Elementary School - grade 3-5
  • Calhoun Middle School - grades 6-8
  • Calhoun High School

Gordon County School District

The Gordon County School District holds grades pre-school to grade twelve, that consists of six elementary schools, two middle schools and two high schools, serving the area outside the city limits.[23] The district has 365 full-time teachers and over 6,259 students.[22]

  • Red Bud Elementary Grades Pre-K-5
  • W.L Swain Elementary Grades Pre-K-5
  • Belwood Elementary School Pre-K-5
  • Sonoraville Elementary School Pre-K-5
  • Fairmount Elementary School Pre-K-5
  • Max V. Tolbert Elementary School Pre-K-5
  • Ashworth Middle School Grades 6-8
  • Red Bud Middle School Grades 6-8
  • Gordon Central High School Grades 9-12
  • Sonoraville High School Grades 9-12

Private school

  • Downing Clark Academy, Inc.

Religious schools

Seventh-day Adventist

Higher education


Radio and TV

Although well outside of metro Atlanta, Calhoun is considered part of the Atlanta television market, the ninth-largest DMA according to Nielsen Media Research. Cable TV service is offered through Comcast Cable, which provides one public, educational, and government access (PEG) cable TV channel named WEBS cable 3.

There are now four radio stations having Calhoun as their city of license:

  • WEBS AM 1030, playing oldies, simulcasts on local Xfinity cable channel 3; station originally broadcast on AM 1110, from approximately 1965–1990.
  • WIPK FM 94.5, owned by WEBS, went on-air in late 2011 with a country music format.
  • WJTH AM 900, playing country music; frequency was earlier assigned to WCGA, which broadcast from approximately 1950–1975.
    • W269CC 101.7, transmitting WJTH programming from WJTH tower, but having nearby Adairsville as the city of license.
  • WLOJ-LP 102.9, religious (owned and operated by the Calhoun Seventh-day Adventist Church ).

Many other stations from Rome, Atlanta, and Chattanooga are also available across northwest Georgia, though reception of these often depends on weather.

There is also a semi-weekly newspaper, The Calhoun Times.

Notable people

  • Elias Boudinot (1802–1839), born Gallegina Uwati, also known as Buck Watie, Cherokee leader who believed that acculturation was critical to the tribe's survival; influential in the period of removal to the West
  • Kris Durham, professional football player; wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders
  • Roland Hayes (1887–1977), world-renowned lyric tenor, considered the first African-American male concert artist to receive wide acclaim both at home and internationally, born here and attended Calhoun schools
  • James Beverly Langford (1922-1996), lawyer, businessman, and Georgia state legislator
  • John Meadows III (1944–2018), Businessman, Mayor of Calhoun, and Georgia state legislator
  • Sequoyah (English: George Gist or George Guess) (c.1767–1843), Cherokee, inventor of the Cherokee Syllabary. This was the only time in recorded history that a member of a non-literate people independently created an effective writing system. He was also the namesake of California's giant Sequoia sempervirens redwood tree.
  • William Thompson (1848–1918), Olympic gold medal winner
  • Stand Watie (1806–1871), Cherokee leader and Confederate general
  • Dale Willis (1938–), Major League Baseball player
  • Bert Lance


  1. ^ "City of Cahoun Georgia Website". City of Calhoun Georgia Website. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  2. ^ "Calhoun". Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  3. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-04. Retrieved 2011-11-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  9. ^ "Profile for Calhoun, Georgia, GA". ePodunk. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  10. ^ Krakow, Kenneth K. (1975). Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins (PDF). Macon, GA: Winship Press. p. 31. ISBN 0-915430-00-2.
  11. ^ "Gordon County". Calhoun Times. 1 September 2004. p. 87. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  12. ^ Ga. Laws 1851-52, page 419
  13. ^ Hellmann, Paul T. (May 13, 2013). Historical Gazetteer of the United States. Routledge. p. 222. ISBN 978-1135948597. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  14. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  15. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Calhoun city, Georgia". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 23, 2016.[dead link]
  16. ^ "Calhoun, Georgia Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  17. ^ "Weatherbase". 2013. Retrieved on September 28, 2013.
  18. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  19. ^ "Roland Hayes - Harris Arts Center". Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  20. ^ "Harris Arts Center". Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  21. ^ [1][dead link]
  22. ^ a b "eSports". eSports Finding Guide. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  23. ^ [2][permanent dead link]

External links