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Dalton is a city in Whitfield Countymarker, Georgiamarker, United States. It is the county seat of Whitfield Countymarker and the principal city of the Dalton, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of both Murraymarker and Whitfield counties. The population was 27,912 at the 2000 census; the 2006 estimated population was 33,045. 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 Romemarker. Dalton is home to many of the nation's floorcovering manufacturers. Dalton has many historic houses, landmarks and a rich Civil War history. Dalton is home to the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center which showcases the Georgia Athletic Coaches' Hall of Fame and holds events year round.


Dalton is located at {MOTOR} (34.771088, -84.971553) .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.8 square miles (51.4 km²), of which, 19.8 square miles (51.3 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.10%) is water.



As of the census of 2000, there were 27,912 people, 9,689 households, and 6,511 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,407.9 people per square mile (543.7/km²). There were 10,229 housing units at an average density of 516.0/sq mi (199.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 66.17% White, 7.71% African American, 0.44% Native American, 1.71% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 21.15% from other races, and 2.76% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 40.2% 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.


Woodland Indians and Creek Nation held the area of present-day Dalton, Georgia until the mid 1700's, 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, to join the Tennessee River with the Chattahoochee River. In 1847, the newly renamed railway 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, Ga. in 1850. A second railroad, the East Tennessee and Georgia was completed in 1852.

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 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 last campaign of the Confederacy, John Bell Hood's Nashville Campaign attacked a Union blockhouse in Tilton before passing through Dalton and heading west. The U.S. government recently declared Dalton and Whitfiled County to have more intact Civil War artifacts than any other place in the country.

With the invention of the automobile, a cottage industry arose in the homes along "Peacock Alley", U.S. Highway 41. Running from Copper Harbor, Michigan, to Miami Beach, Florida, the route ran on paved state roads. It was designated in 1925 and signed in 1926. Women would sell quilts to drivers along this popular north-south route. From this early origin, the carpet tufting industry grew in Dalton. Today, Carpet Mills remain major area employers.

Carpet industry

Dalton is often referred to as the "Carpet Capital of the World", home to 150+ carpet plants and approximately 100 carpet outlet stores. The industry employs more than 30,000 people in the Whitfield County area.

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 became so great for the spreads 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 amazingly popular all over the country and provided a new name for Dalton: the Bedspread Capital of the World.

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

Bombing of the McCamy Law Firm

On October 17, 2008 a bomb exploded at the law offices of McCamy, Phillips, Tuggle & Fordham, LLP [16810], a well established law firm in Dalton and the Northwest Georgia area. The explosion occurred just several hundred feet from City Park Elementary School and the local post office and was felt by many in the downtown area. The individual bomber was opposed in a lawsuit by his son, who had hired one of the attorneys at the firm to represent his interests against his father in a civil lawsuit filed in Whitfield County. The bomber, Lloyd Cantrell, was killed as a result of the explosion and the senior partner at the firm, James H. Phillips, was burned severely and was treated for his injuries at Doctors Hospital in Augusta, Georgia. He returned home on November 13, 2008.

Rail transport

Dalton is served by two freight railroads Norfolk Southern and CSX and is one of the few locations in the Nation where the tracks cross one another.


  • Before the Silicon Valley boom, Dalton, Georgia had more millionaires per capita than any city in the U.S.

  • In 2002 Dow Chemical Company's Dalton Plant was ranked in the 60th percentile of the dirtiest facilities in the entire U.S. for "air releases of recognized reproductive toxicants", according to

  • On January 18, 2001, the municipally-owned Dalton Utilities system settled allegations of Clean Water Act violations with the EPA and the State of Georgia by agreeing to pay a $6 million fine and take measures to bring its wastewater systems into compliance. Regulators had alleged that the utility's land application of sewage contaminated the Conasauga River and groundwater in the area. EPA Press Release 1/18/01.

Notable People from Dalton


  1. Dalton city, Georgia - Population Finder - American FactFinder
  2. The History Of Carpet
  3. Georgia Women of Achievement :: Honorees :: Catherine Evans Whitener

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