Canton Town Square
Location in Cherokee County in the state of Georgia
|• Mayor||Gene Hobgood (R)|
|• City Council||Bob Rush
|• Total||18.7 sq mi (48.5 km2)|
|• Land||18.6 sq mi (48.2 km2)|
|• Water||0.2 sq mi (0.4 km2)|
|Elevation||968 ft (295 m)|
|• Density||1,235/sq mi (476.8/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|ZIP codes||30114, 30115, 30169|
|GNIS feature ID||0331320|
- 1 Geography
- 2 Demographics
- 3 History
- 4 City Government
- 5 Education
- 6 Transportation
- 7 Notable residents
- 8 Footnotes
- 9 External links
Canton is located near the center of Cherokee County at  The city lies just north of Holly Springs and south of Ball Ground. Interstate 575 passes through the eastern side of the city, with access from exits 14 through 20. Canton is 40 miles (64 km) north of downtown Atlanta via I-575 and I-75.(34.227307, −84.494727).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.7 square miles (48.5 km2), of which 18.6 square miles (48.2 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 0.76%, is water. The Etowah River, a tributary of the Coosa River, flows from east to west through the center of the city.
As of the 2010 census, there were 22,958 people, 8,204 households, and 5,606 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,234.3 people per square mile (476.8/km²). There were 9,341 housing units at an average density of 502.2 per square mile (194.0/km²).
There were 8,204 households, out of which 42.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.6% were headed by married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were non-families. 25.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.8% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77, and the average family size was 3.30.
Ethnicity, age, and sex
The racial makeup of the city was 75.6% White, 8.9% African American, 0.8% Native American, 1.3% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 10.2% some other race, 2.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race comprised 22.5% of the population.
In the city, the population was spread out with 29.7% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 34.7% from 25 to 44, 17.1% from 45 to 64, and 9.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30.6 years. For every 100 females there were 96.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.0 males.
For the period 2010-12, the estimated median annual income for a household in the city was $46,691, and the median income for a family was $52,432. Male full-time workers had a median income of $36,971 versus $37,092 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,705. About 13.4% of families and 18.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.6% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.
Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the site where Canton would be founded lay in the heart of the Cherokee Nation. During the first hundred years of Georgia's history, Northwest Georgia was generally considered "Indian Country" and was bypassed by settlers going West. Georgia had made a treaty with the federal government in 1802 to relinquish its Western Territory for the removal of all Indians within its boundaries, and, although other tribes had been removed, little was ever done about the Cherokees. Since this was the heartland of the Cherokee Nation, the state and nation had avoided the handling of this delicate problem. Following the Georgia Gold Rush in 1829, settlers ignored the Indian problems and began to move into the area north of Carrollton and west of the Chattahoochee River and named it Cherokee.
Many members of the Cherokee Nation moved west, but the majority stayed until removed by federal troops sent into the area during the summer of 1838. The remaining Cherokees were gathered and held in forts until the removal could be completed. Present-day Cherokee County had the largest and most southerly of these forts, Fort Buffington, which stood 6 miles (10 km) east of Canton. Today nothing stands to identify its timber structure, but the area is marked by a large piece of green Cherokee marble quarried near Holly Springs. By autumn of 1838, the federal troops had accomplished their mission, and the Cherokees at Fort Buffington were marched off to join other groups on the infamous "Trail of Tears".
A permanent county seat and courthouse were chosen in 1833 and named "Etowah". The name was changed to "Cherokee Courthouse" in 1833. In 1834 it was changed to "Canton" (pronounced cant'n), after the Chinese city of Guangzhou, which was then known in English as Canton (pronounced can tahn). The name was chosen because a group of citizens had dreams of making the Georgia town a center of the silk industry, which was concentrated in China at the time. Though Canton never became a significant silk center, it did become a successful manufacturing community.
Canton, which had a population of about 200, was burned between the dates of November 1–5, 1864, by the Union Army under the command of Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman. Canton was destroyed by a foraging party of the Ohio 5th Cavalry under the command of Major Thomas T. Heath. At the time the Ohio 5th Cavalry was headquartered in Cartersville. The written order for destruction was given on October 30, 1864, by Brig. General John E. Smith. Union troops were ordered to burn the town because of Confederate guerrilla attacks coming from Canton and directed against the Western and Atlantic Railroad near the town of Cassville. The railroad was a vital supply line for the Union Army from the captured city of Chattanooga, Tennessee, to newly captured Atlanta. The Canton home of Governor Joseph E. Brown was specifically targeted for destruction. Cassville, the county seat of neighboring Bartow County was also completely destroyed for guerrilla attacks against the railroad by the same Union party on November 5, 1864, on their return to Cartersville from Canton. Cassville never rebuilt. However, Canton survived to prosper.
Over the years, Canton evolved from unsettled territory to a prosperous mill town known the world over for its "Canton Denim". The original county of 1831 now includes 24 counties. The city of Canton remains the county seat.
The poultry division of Central Soya Corporation located a plant to the region in the 1954 which is now Pilgrims Pride. The Canton Cotton Mills, which produced the famous "Canton Denim", closed in 1981. Since then, Canton has grown as the suburbs of Atlanta have expanded northward, and is currently experiencing its period of greatest population growth, which nearly tripled between 2000 and 2010.
City Government Council and City Government Manager
The city of Canton is governed by a City Government Manager and six council members, who are elected by city residents. The terms of office are for four years. The city is divided into three council wards, with two council members serving from each ward. The City Government Manager and Council hold the monthly council meetings on the first and third Thursday of each month at 6:00 p.m. All meetings of the City Government Manager and Council are held in the Council Chambers of City Hall located at 151 Elizabeth Street.
The Administration Department of the City Government of Canton consists of the City Government Manager, City Government Council, City Government Administration Manager, City Clerk and Administrative Secretaries. The office is located at Canton City Hall at 151 Elizabeth Street in Canton.
The City Manager is the Administrative Executive of the City of Canton and is responsible for overseeing daily operations of all City departments. The City Manager is appointed by the City Government Manager and The City Government Council, the governing authority of the city.
The City Clerk serves as the Clerk of Council and is responsible for the minutes and records of all meetings. The City Clerk is responsible for serving as custodian of all legal documents for the City.
Many projects are underway in the city including new construction, renovation, and revitalization. Canton has received millions of dollars in grants for park and sidewalk improvements in the city. The city's public buses have established routes and carry thousands of passengers throughout the city from residential areas to downtown, shopping areas, the medical district, and job sites.
The Historic Canton Theatre on Main Street features plays and other special entertainment events throughout the year, injecting new life into the downtown business district. Streets in the downtown area were recently improved, by the removal of parking spaces, as part of the "Streetscapes" program, bringing brick pavers to sidewalks, lamp posts, lush landscaping and intersection upgrades.
In May 2004, the city held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Heritage Park, the first phase of the Etowah River Greenway. The park covers approximately 30 acres (120,000 m2) and has pedestrian and bike trails and a natural amphitheater. The city used to hold concerts and movies in Heritage Park throughout the summer free of charge to its residents.
The city, in partnership with the Metro Atlanta YMCA, constructed an $8 million community center on Waleska Street contiguous to Heritage Park. Now completed, the community center includes an indoor swimming pool, a gymnasium, wellness center, aerobics studio, childcare facilities and the Cherokee Sports Hall of Fame. Although voted in as a "free" community center, it was decided after completion that only members can use it for a fee.
Phase two of the Etowah River Greenway north of Heritage Park consists of recreation fields for softball, baseball, tennis, and soccer. This phase involves approximately 60 acres (240,000 m2) of property.
In June 2004, the Bluffs Parkway opened off Riverstone Boulevard. This parkway, funded by an $8 million grant from the Georgia Department of Transportation, bisects the Bluffs at Technology Park, owned by Technology Park/Atlanta and which will be home to 15,000 high-tech jobs when built out in 10 years. The technology park includes a satellite campus of Chattahoochee Technical College which opened in the fall of 2011.
The Hickory Log Creek Dam project, north of the city center, was approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The construction and ownership of the Hickory Log Creek Raw Water Reservoir will be shared by the Cobb County / Marietta Water Authority and the City of Canton on a 75% and 25% respective basis and was expected to be completed by December 2007. This water source will provide 44 million US gallons (170,000 m3) of water per day and will be bordered by 15 to 25 acres (6.1 to 10.1 ha) of park land with picnic and other public areas.
In 2009, Canton opened the newly renovated Canton Marketplace. It features a Super Target as well as a Kohl's, Lowe's, Best Buy, Dick's Sporting Goods, and more. Restaurants and shopping centers have seen a major boom in Canton.
Education in Canton is run by The Cherokee County Government and The Georgia State Government
Cherokee County School District
The Cherokee County School District serves grades pre-school to grade twelve, with 23 elementary schools, six middle schools, and six high schools. As of 2010, the district had 1,766 full-time teachers and over 28,434 students. Schools in Canton and surrounding unincorporated areas include:
- Avery Elementary School
- Buffington Elementary School
- Canton Elementary School- Situated on Marietta Highway, next to Cherokee High School and across from Bruster's Ice Cream
- Clayton Elementary School
- Free Home Elementary School
- Hasty Elementary School
- Joseph Knox Elementary School- Located in the River Green neighborhood across from the Franklin Park Townhomes
- Liberty Elementary School- Next to Freedom Middle School off Bells Ferry Road
- Macedonia Elementary School
- Indian Knoll Elementary School
- Creekland Middle School
- Dean Rusk Middle School
- Freedom Middle School- Next to Liberty Elementary School on Bells Ferry Road
- Teasley Middle School- Off of Knox Bridge Hwy near River Green
- Chattahoochee Technical College (Canton Campus)
A redevelopment project currently underway includes an already completed 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) terminal, the ongoing lengthening of the runway from its current 3,414 to 5,000 feet (1,041 to 1,524 m), a new parallel taxiway, instrument landing equipment, and new hangars. The new facilities will accommodate 200 hangared corporate aircraft and provide 100 tie-downs for smaller aircraft.
- Canton was the hometown of Joseph E. Brown. In 1844, Brown served as headmaster at the academy in Canton, which began his lifelong devotion to public education. He was elected governor of Georgia in 1857 and later served as a U.S. senator. Brown is the only person ever to have been elected governor of Georgia four times.
- Josh Holloway, who played James "Sawyer" Ford of the television series Lost, moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia when he was two. Josh Holloway attended Cherokee High School in Canton. He developed an interest in movies at a very young age. He studied at the University of Georgia for a year, but left to pursue a career as a model.
- Bruce Miller, current NFL player (San Francisco 49ers)
- R&B group Audio lives in Canton.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Canton city, Georgia". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Canton city, Georgia". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
- "Selected Economic Characteristics: 2010-2012 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates (DP03): Canton city, Georgia". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
- Hewitt, Janet. Supplement to the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Part II, Record of Events, Volume 49, Serial No. 61: Broadfoot. p. 766.
- United States, Government. Official Record of the Rebellion. Series 1, Volume XXXIX, Part 2: US Government. p. 553.
- The Heritage of Cherokee County Georgia 1831–1998
- Georgia Board of Education[dead link], Retrieved June 3, 2010.
- School Stats, Retrieved June 3, 2010.
- "Joseph E. Brown". About North Georgia. Retrieved August 1, 2008.
- City of Canton official website
- Cherokee County School District
- Cherokee Tribune, local newspaper
- Cherokee Today