Dade County, Georgia

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Dade County, Georgia
Dade County Courthouse in Trenton, Georgia, USA.jpg
Map of Georgia highlighting Dade County
Location in the state of Georgia
Map of the United States highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location in the U.S.
Founded 1837
Named for Francis L. Dade
Seat Trenton
Largest city Trenton
 • Total 174 sq mi (451 km2)
 • Land 174 sq mi (451 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (1 km2), 0.1%
 • (2010) 16,633
 • Density 96/sq mi (37/km²)
Congressional district 14th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Dade County is a county located in the northwestern corner of U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population is 16,633.[1] The county seat and only incorporated municipality is Trenton.[2]

Dade County is part of the Chattanooga, TN–GA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

In 1860, residents of Dade County voted to secede from the state of Georgia and from the United States; however, the secession was never recognized to have any legal effect. In 1945, the county symbolically rejoined Georgia and the United States.[3]


Dade County was established in 1837 and was named for Major Francis Langhorne Dade, who was killed in the Dade Massacre by Seminole Indians in December 1835.[4] The first settlers of Dade County won the land in the Georgia Land Lotteries, held to encourage settlement after the Cherokee people were forced off the land. Many settlers worked in regional coke and coal mines that contributed to development of the Chattanooga, Tennessee area.

The area was long isolated from the rest of Georgia by its geography of mountains and rivers. The state did not have a road connecting to Dade County until it established Cloudland Canyon State Park in 1939. That year Georgia began work on Highway 136 to connect U.S. 41 to the recently created park.[5] The Civilian Conservation Corps built many of the facilities and access roads to the park. Until then, travelers could reach the county by road only through Alabama and Tennessee.

Dade County had a short-lived state secessionist movement before the American Civil War. In 1860 residents wanted to secede from the Union, but lawmakers for the State of Georgia were cautious. Legend has it that in 1860, the people of Dade County were so impatient that they announced their own secession from the state and the nation.[6] It had no legal effect. On July 4, 1945, a telegram from President Harry S. Truman was read at a celebration marking the county's rejoining the Union. Historians hold, however, that Dade County seceded with the State of Georgia and reentered the Union with it.[7][8]

The noted Southern humorist and author and among the seminal writers of Southern humor George Washington Harris (1814-1869) is buried in the Brock Cemetery in Trenton. Although he greatly influenced the literary works of Mark Twain, William Faulkner,[9] and Flannery O'Connor,[10] his grave remained unmarked until 2008.

In 1964 Covenant College established a campus at Lookout Mountain. Founded in 1955 in California, it was ready to expand after a year. Several professors led Covenant to move to St. Louis, Missouri, where it developed for eight years. After outgrowing its facilities there, the college decided to move to Dade County.

Quarter controversy[edit]

Georgia State Quarter without Dade County.

Shortly after the Georgia State Quarter was released by the US Mint, Dade County gained attention because of an apparent mistake in the design. As shown on the quarter, the state appears to lack Dade County, in the extreme northwestern part of the state. Some accounts in 2012 suggest the exclusion was intended to refer to the local legend of Dade County's secession from Georgia.[11]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 174 square miles (450 km2), of which 174 square miles (450 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) (0.1%) is water.[12]

The vast majority of Dade County is located in the Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga sub-basin of the Middle Tennessee-Hiwassee basin. A very small part of the southernmost tip of the county is located in the Upper Coosa River sub-basin in the ACT River Basin (Coosa-Tallapoosa River Basin), while a small part of the easternmost portion of Dade County is located in the Guntersville Lake sub-basin in the Middle Tennessee-Elk basin.[13]

Major highways[edit]

Cloudland Canyon State Park

Adjacent counties[edit]

Protected areas[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 1,364
1850 2,680 96.5%
1860 3,069 14.5%
1870 3,033 −1.2%
1880 4,702 55.0%
1890 5,707 21.4%
1900 4,578 −19.8%
1910 4,139 −9.6%
1920 3,918 −5.3%
1930 4,146 5.8%
1940 5,894 42.2%
1950 7,364 24.9%
1960 8,666 17.7%
1970 9,910 14.4%
1980 12,318 24.3%
1990 13,147 6.7%
2000 15,154 15.3%
2010 16,633 9.8%
Est. 2014 16,389 [14] −1.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[15]
1790-1960[16] 1900-1990[17]
1990-2000[18] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[19] of 2000, there were 15,154 people, 5,633 households, and 4,264 families residing in the county. The population density was 87 people per square mile (34/km²). There were 6,224 housing units at an average density of 36 per square mile (14/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.51% White, 0.63% Black or African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.20% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. 0.90% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 5,633 households out of which 33.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.70% were married couples living together, 9.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.30% were non-families. 21.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the county the population was spread out with 23.80% under the age of 18, 11.80% from 18 to 24, 27.80% from 25 to 44, 24.50% from 45 to 64, and 12.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 96.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,259, and the median income for a family was $39,481. Males had a median income of $31,534 versus $21,753 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,127. About 7.50% of families and 9.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.40% of those under age 18 and 12.50% of those age 65 or over.


Georgia water supply[edit]

Dade County lies just south of Nickajack Lake on the Tennessee River, which was created by the Nickajack Dam, constructed by the Tennessee Valley Authority. The city of Atlanta, Georgia wanted to gain rights to the water in Nickajack Lake to supplement their sources from Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona. In addition, in 2008 Georgia lawmakers wanted to change the Tennessee-Georgia state line, as they say it is based on a flawed 1818 survey, which mistakenly placed Georgia's northern line just short of the Tennessee River.[20][21] Changing the boundary would give Georgia rights to the water, but they were unsuccessful.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 21, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Dade County, Georgia. "The State Of Dade". Dade County, Georgia. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 98. 
  5. ^ Cooksey, Elizabeth (2009). "Dade County". The New Georgia Encyclopedia. Georgia Humanities Council/University of Georgia Press. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  6. ^ Bluestein, Greg (28 April 2008). "Forgotten Ga. county now in spotlight over water rights". Fox News (Fox Entertainment Group). Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "The Independent State Of Dade Is Fixin' To Rise Again". Dade County Sentinel. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  8. ^ Coulter, E. Merton. "The Myth of Dade County's Seceding from Georgia in 1860", Resources at Rootsweb
  9. ^ Faulkner, William. "The Art of Fiction no. 12: William Faulkner". The Paris Review. Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  10. ^ Donald Day, "The Life of George Washington Harris," Tennessee Historical Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 1 (March 1947), pp. 3-38.
  11. ^ "Georgia quarters are really quite peachy, but not in Dade County". Archived from the original on 22 Nov 2012. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  13. ^ "Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission Interactive Mapping Experience". Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission. Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  14. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  15. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 21, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 21, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 21, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 21, 2014. 
  19. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  20. ^ Bluestein, Greg - Forgotten Ga. county now in spotlight over water rights, Associated Press, April 28, 2008
  21. ^ Shearer, Lee - "Tennessee-Georgia border dispute derided", The Athens Banner-Herald, 3 March 2008

Coordinates: 34°51′N 85°30′W / 34.85°N 85.50°W / 34.85; -85.50