Dawson County, Georgia
Dawson County Courthouse in Dawsonville
Location within the U.S. state of Georgia
Georgia's location within the U.S.
|Named for||William Crosby Dawson|
|• Total||214 sq mi (550 km2)|
|• Land||211 sq mi (550 km2)|
|• Water||3.6 sq mi (9 km2) 1.7%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||106/sq mi (41/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Dawson County is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area. Its natural resources include Amicalola Falls, the highest in Georgia and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the state.
The 1860s brought war and hardships to the people of Dawson County. Many men of Dawson County answered the call and went to fight in the Civil War. Several Confederate units were raised in Dawson County, including:
- 21st Regiment, Georgia Infantry, Company E Concord Rangers
- 22nd Regiment, Georgia Infantry, Company I, Dawson County Independents
- 38th Regiment, Georgia Infantry, Company I (Wright's Legion), Dawson Farmers
- 38th Regiment, Georgia Infantry, Company L (Wright's Legion)
- 52nd Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Company I
The 1st Georgia Infantry Battalion (Union), Companies B and C also was raised there.
After Civil War to present
The county is known in its long involvement in auto racing, which was established in the 20th century; many of the original NASCAR racers came from this area. Local racing skills are said to have been developed by men who ran moonshine down Georgia State Route 9, also known as Thunder Road, to Atlanta. Celebrations of Dawson County's history and of its "likker" involvement occur every October with the Moonshine Festival.
Locals have referred to Dawson County as the Moonshine Capital of the World. This title is claimed by many other areas, but is fiercely defended by residents of this area. They took advantage of its relative isolation and the ability to move so much moonshine to the larger cities, especially Atlanta, during the Prohibition era.
Dawson County currently serves grades K-12. It has a total of seven schools - one for pre-K, four for grades K-5, one for grades 6–7, one for grades 8–9, and Dawson County High School (grades 10-12).
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 214 square miles (550 km2), of which 211 square miles (550 km2) are land and 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2) (1.7%) are covered by water.
The county is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Portions of the mountain chain extend into the far northern and western portions of the county, with elevations around 3,500 ft. in this area.
Part of Lake Lanier is in the southeastern part of the county and the boundary lines with neighboring counties pass through the lake. The 729-ft (222-m) Amicalola Falls, are located in the county. The Amicalola Falls are the highest in Georgia, the tallest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River, and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia. The highest point in the county is Black Mountain, with an elevation of 3,600 feet (1,100 m). The Chestatee and Etowah Rivers flow through Dawson County.
The vast majority of Dawson County is located in the Etowah River subbasin of the ACT River Basin (Coosa-Tallapoosa River Basin). The southeastern tip of the county is located in the Upper Chattahoochee River subbasin of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, and a very small northern section of Dawson County is located in the Coosawattee River subbasin of the larger ACT River Basin.
- Fannin County - north
- Lumpkin County - northeast
- Hall County - east
- Forsyth County - south
- Cherokee County - southwest
- Pickens County - west
- Gilmer County - northwest
National protected area
- U.S. Route 19
- State Route 9
- State Route 52
- State Route 53
- State Route 136
- State Route 183
- State Route 400
Pedestrians and cycling
- Springer Mountain Trail
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, 22,330 people, and 10,425 households, and 6,390 families were living in the county. The racial makeup of the county was 95.62% White, 0.5% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 1.6% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 4.1% of the population.
Of the 8,433 households, 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.7% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 24.2% were not families. About 19.7% of all households were made up of individuals living alone, and 6.5% of whom were 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61, and the average family size was 2.97.
In the county, the population was distributed as 5.7% under the age of 5, 6.5% at 5–9 years, 6.8% at 10–14 years, 6.0% at 15–19 years, 6.1% at 20–24 years, 5.7% at 25–29 years, 5.8% at 30–34 years, 6.6% at 35–39 years, 6.9% at 40–44 years, 8.1% at 45–49 years, 7.2% at 50–54 years, 7.0% at 55–59 years, 7.6% at 60–64 years, 6.0% at 65–69 years, 3.6% at 70–74 years, 2.4% at 75–79 years, 1.3% at 80–84 years, and 0.8% over age 85. The median age was 40.6 years - 11,164 were male and 11,166 were female.
The median income for a household in the county was estimated at $51,989, and for a family was estimated at $60,455. About 8.9% of families and 13.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.0% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 22,330 people, 8,433 households, and 6,390 families living in the county. The population density was 105.9 inhabitants per square mile (40.9/km2). There were 10,425 housing units at an average density of 49.4 per square mile (19.1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.6% white, 0.6% Asian, 0.5% black or African American, 0.4% American Indian, 1.6% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.1% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 18.9% were American, 18.8% were Irish, 14.7% were English, and 13.6% were German.
Of the 8,433 households, 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.7% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 24.2% were non-families, and 19.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 2.97. The median age was 40.6 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $51,128 and the median income for a family was $60,236. Males had a median income of $41,726 versus $31,978 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,557. About 7.8% of families and 12.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.0% of those under age 18 and 5.3% of those age 65 or over.
Cities and communities
Several large, gated, private communities function similar to a municipality, providing many municipal-type services that operate independently of county government.
- Paradise Valley Resort (a private residential/recreational community)
- Bill Elliott - NASCAR racer, 1988 Cup Series champion, and Hall of Fame member
- Chase Elliott - NASCAR racer and 2014 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion, and 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion
- Gober Sosebee - stock-car racer (three-time Daytona champion)
- Jerry Glanville - National Football League head coach, NASCAR driver
- Bill Goldberg - professional wrestler and actor (once resided in Dawson County)
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