Dalton, Georgia

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Dalton, Georgia
Downtown Dalton
Downtown Dalton
Nickname(s): Carpet Capital of the World
Location in Whitfield County and the state of Georgia
Location in Whitfield County and the state of Georgia
Dalton, Georgia is located in USA
Dalton, Georgia
Dalton, Georgia
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 34°46′16″N 84°58′18″W / 34.77111°N 84.97167°W / 34.77111; -84.97167Coordinates: 34°46′16″N 84°58′18″W / 34.77111°N 84.97167°W / 34.77111; -84.97167
State Georgia
County Whitfield
 • Total 19.8 sq mi (51.3 km2)
 • Land 19.8 sq mi (51.3 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 761 ft (232 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 33,128
 • Density 1,668.9/sq mi (644.1/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 30719-30722
Area code(s) 706/762
FIPS code 13-21380[1]
GNIS feature ID 0355424[2]

Dalton is a city in Whitfield County, Georgia, United States. It is the county seat of Whitfield County[3] and the principal city of the Dalton, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Murray and Whitfield counties.

As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 33,128, with the total metropolitan area having a population of 142,227.[4]

Dalton is located just off Interstate 75 in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northwest Georgia and is the second largest city in northwest Georgia, after Rome.

Dalton is home to many of the nation's floorcovering manufacturers. It has a vibrant arts & culture scene, many historic houses, landmarks and a rich Civil War history. It is home to the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center, which showcases the Georgia Athletic Coaches' Hall of Fame and holds events year round.


A picture of Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center
Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center

Dalton is located at (34.771088, -84.971553).[5] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.8 square miles (51 km2), of which, 19.8 square miles (51 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (0.10%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,649
1870 1,809 9.7%
1880 2,516 39.1%
1890 3,046 21.1%
1900 4,315 41.7%
1910 5,324 23.4%
1920 5,222 −1.9%
1930 8,160 56.3%
1940 10,448 28.0%
1950 15,968 52.8%
1960 17,868 11.9%
1970 18,872 5.6%
1980 20,939 11.0%
1990 21,761 3.9%
2000 27,912 28.3%
2010 33,128 18.7%
Est. 2014 33,529 [6] 1.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

According to the 2010 census Dalton had a population of 33,128 living in 11,337 households. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 42.4% non-Hispanic white, 22.6% Hispanic white (that is a total of 65.0% white), 6.4% black or African American, 0.6% Native American, 2.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.1% non-Hispanic reporting some other race, 22.2% Hispanic reporting some other race and 3.2% reporting two or more races. 48.0% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.[8]

According to the census estimate[1] of 2006, there were 88,604 people, 10,689 households, and 8,511 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,408.3 people per square mile (543.7/km²). There were 11,229 housing units at an average density of 516.0 per square mile (199.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 20% White, 22% African American, 1% Native American, 1% Asian, 1% Pacific Islander, 21.15% from other races, and 6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 50% of the population.

There were 9,689 households out of which 34.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.9% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% were non-families. 27.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.43.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.3% under the age of 18, 12.0% from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 104.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,312, and the median income for a family was $41,111. Males had a median income of $28,158 versus $23,701 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,575. About 11.9% of families and 16.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.0% of those under age 18 and 8.9% of those age 65 or over.

Due to the presence of the carpet and textile industries, Dalton has a large population of Hispanic and Latino residents.[9]


Dalton has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa), with hot, humid summers, and mild to cool winters, and straddles the border between USDA Hardiness Zones 7B and 8A.[10] The monthly daily mean temperature ranges from 40.1 °F (4.5 °C) in January to 79.0 °F (26.1 °C) in July; on average, there are 41 days of 90 °F (32 °C)+ highs, 2.7 days where the high fails to reach above freezing, and 10.7 nights where the low falls to or below 20 °F (−7 °C) annually, with 100 °F (38 °C) a much rarer occurrence.

Climate data for Dalton, Georgia (1981–2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 50.1
Average low °F (°C) 30.1
Average precipitation inches (mm) 5.18
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 8.7 8.6 9.3 8.2 8.3 9.7 9.8 8.1 7.1 6.3 8.6 8.5 101.2
Source: [11]

Arts and Culture[edit]

Dalton is home to many events and activities throughout the year. The Creative Arts Guild hosts First Friday, a gallery opening and community social event, each month and an annual Arts Festival each year in September. The Downtown Dalton Development Authority hosts the Saturday Farmers Market (May–August) and an annual Beer Festival and Liberty Tree Festival. The Young Professionals of Northwest Georgia host a monthly social event to connect and engage area young professionals[12]


Woodland Indians and Creek Nation held the area of present-day Dalton, Georgia until the mid-18th century, when the Cherokee pushed the Creek to the west and south. The Cherokee Indians called the mountains of north Georgia their "Enchanted Land" until their forced removal in 1838, in a tragedy known today as the Trail of Tears.

By the time the last Cherokees had left, work was underway for a railroad, the Western and Atlantic (W&A), to join the Tennessee River with the Georgia Railroad then under construction. In 1847, Dalton was defined as a mile radius from the city center, the Western and Atlantic Depot. The final segment of this pivotal railway was completed in Tunnel Hill, Whitfield County in 1850. A second railroad, the East Tennessee and Georgia, was completed in 1852.

Catherine Evans Whitener's revitalization of the pre-Civil War-era craft of candlewicking gave rise to a cottage chenille bedspread industry. Homes along U.S. Highway 41 displayed brightly patterned homemade bedspreads on frontyard clotheslines in hopes of luring tourists into a purchase. The stretch of highway passing through Whitfield County became known colloquially as "Peacock Alley" in reference to one of the most common patterns depicted on the bedspreads. The bedspread business booned to a multimillion-dollar industry by the 1950s, and from this early origin, the carpet tufting industry grew in Dalton after Glenn Looper developed an adaptation that allowed the mechanism used to tuft yarn into muslin or cotton for bedspreads to tuft into jute, shifting the nation's carpet manufacturers from woven wool products in the northeast to tufted synthetic carpets in northwest Georgia. Today, carpet mills remain the region's major employers and economic drivers.

Dalton, was named for General Tristram Dalton of Massachusetts.[13]

Civil War[edit]

A statue of General Joseph E Johnston in Dalton.
Statue of General Joseph E. Johnston in Downtown Dalton, GA.

During the Civil War, Dalton saw its first action during the Great Locomotive Chase, on April 12, 1862.

More than a year later, on September 19–20, 1863, massive Union and Confederate forces battled a few miles west of Dalton at Chickamauga, and later at Chattanooga. The war came to Whitfield County in the spring of 1864. The First Battle of Dalton included the battle of Rocky Face Ridge and Dug Gap began on May 7, 1864, and ended when General Johnston completed his withdrawal from Dalton on May 12.

The Second Battle of Dalton occurred August 14–15, 1864.

In John Bell Hood's Tennessee campaign, Joseph Wheeler's cavalry attacked a Union blockhouse in Tilton before passing through Dalton and heading west.

The U.S. government recently declared Dalton and Whitfield County to have more intact Civil War artifacts than any other place in the country.[14] Also of interest is the site of the historic Western & Atlantic Railroad Station; one of the few still standing and restored to its original architectural state, this site is now the Dalton Depot Restaurant. The steel center marker for the original surveying of the city of Dalton is still inside the depot.[15]

Carpet industry[edit]

Dalton is often referred to as the "Carpet Capital of the World," home to 150+ carpet plants. The industry employs more than 30,000 people in the Whitfield County area.[16] More than 90% of the functional carpet produced in the world today is made within a 65-mile (105 km) radius of the city.[16]

The agglomeration of the carpet industry in Dalton can be traced back to a wedding gift given in 1895 by a teenage girl, Catherine Evans Whitener, to her brother, Henry Alexander Evans, and his bride, Elizabeth Cramer. The gift was an unusual tufted bedspread. Copying a quilt pattern, she sewed thick cotton yarns with a running stitch into unbleached muslin, clipped the ends of the yarn so they would fluff out, and finally, washed the spread in hot water to hold the yarns by shrinking the fabric. Interest grew in young Catherine's bedspreads, and in 1900, she made the first sale of a spread for $2.50. Demand for the spreads became so great that by the 1930s, local women had "haulers," who would take the stamped sheeting and yarns to front porch workers. Often entire families worked to hand-tuft the spreads for 10 to 25 cents per spread. Nearly 10,000 area cottage "tufters," men, women, and children, were involved in the industry. Income generated by the bedspreads was instrumental in helping many area families survive the Depression. Chenille bedspreads became popular all over the country and provided a new name for Dalton: the Bedspread Capital of the World.[17]

When a form of mechanized carpet making was developed after World War II, Dalton became the center of the new industry because specialized tufting skills were required and the city had a ready pool of workers with those skills.[18]

By the 1970s manufacturers had begun to develop techniques to move from plain tufted carpet to sculpted carpet. Improved patterning, stain and wear resistance, and colors have made today's tufted carpet the choice for functional carpet for the vast majority of homes, and moved woven carpet to a decorative role.[16]


Dalton City School District[edit]

The Dalton City School District holds pre-school to grade twelve, and consists of six elementary schools, a middle school, a high school, and an alternative school.[19] The district has 366 full-time teachers and over 5,739 students.[20]

  • Blue Ridge Elementary School
  • Brookwood Elementary School
  • City Park Elementary School
  • Park Creek Elementary School
  • Roan Elementary School
  • Westwood Elementary School
  • Dalton Middle School
  • Dalton High School
  • Morris Innovative High School

Whitfield County School District[edit]

The Whitfield County School District holds pre-school to grade twelve, and consists of thirteen elementary schools, five middle schools, four high schools, an alternative school, and a charter school.[21] The district has 777 full-time teachers and over 12,190 students.[22]

Elementary Schools

  • Antioch Elementary School
  • Beaverdale Elementary School
  • Cedar Ridge Elementary School
  • Cohutta Elementary School
  • Dawnville Elementary School
  • Dug Gap Elementary School
  • Eastside Elementary School
  • New Hope Elementary School
  • Pleasant Grove Elementary School
  • Tunnel Hill Elementary School
  • Valley Point Elementary School
  • Varnell Elementary School
  • Westside Elementary School

Middle Schools

Bell tower at Dalton State College.
Dalton State College Bell Tower.
  • Eastbrook Middle School
  • New Hope Middle School
  • North Whitfield Middle School
  • Valley Point Middle School
  • Westside Middle School

High Schools

Charter Schools

  • Whitfield County Career Academy

Alternative Schools

  • Fort Hill Complex (Crossroads Academy)

Independent Schools[edit]

Higher education[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ "Dalton (city) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau". Quickfacts.census.gov. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ 2010 general profile of population and housing characteristics of Dalton from the US census
  9. ^ Valencia, Nick and Leslie Tripp. "After Latino boom, Georgia town's population shifts again." CNN. December 12, 2011. Retrieved on December 12, 2011.
  10. ^ "home Home". 
  11. ^ "Station Name: GA DALTON". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  12. ^ "Dalton Events". 
  13. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 99. 
  14. ^ "Dalton". Roadside Georgia. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  15. ^ [1] Archived October 7, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ a b c [2] Archived July 19, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "The History Of Carpet". Carpet-rug.org. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  18. ^ "Dalton: Carpet Capital of the World". Northga.net. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  19. ^ "Georgia Board of Education". doe.k12.ga.us. Retrieved June 6, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Whitfield, Dalton City". school-stats.com. Retrieved June 6, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Georgia Board of Education". doe.k12.ga.us. Retrieved June 6, 2010. 
  22. ^ School Stats, Retrieved June 6, 2010.
  23. ^ Dalton State College, Retrieved June 6, 2010.
  24. ^ Martin, Mariann: "Dalton renews ties to Sister City" Chattanooga Times Free Press. (July 31, 2011). Accessed March 8, 2013.

External links[edit]