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Dalton, Georgia
City of Dalton
Downtown Dalton
Downtown Dalton
Flag of Dalton, Georgia
Official seal of Dalton, Georgia
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 the United States
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; -84.97167
CountryUnited States
 • MayorAnnalee Sams
 • City21.16 sq mi (54.80 km2)
 • Land21.14 sq mi (54.76 km2)
 • Water0.02 sq mi (0.04 km2)
Elevation761 ft (232 m)
 • City34,417
 • Density1,627.90/sq mi (628.52/km2)
 • Urban
 • Metro
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)706/762
FIPS code13-21380[3]
HDI (2021)0.861 – very high[4]

Dalton is a city and the county seat of Whitfield County, Georgia, United States.[5] It is also the principal city of the Dalton Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Murray and Whitfield counties.

As of the 2020 census, the city had a population of 34,417 people; the city's metro area was 124,837. 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 floor-covering manufacturers, primarily those producing carpet, rugs, and vinyl flooring. It is home to the Dalton Convention Center, which showcases the Georgia Athletic Coaches' Hall of Fame and hosts a variety of events.


A picture of The Dalton Convention Center
Dalton Convention Center

Dalton is located at (34.771088, -84.971553).[6] 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) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.10%) is water.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

2020 census

Dalton racial composition[8]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 12,027 34.94%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 2,108 6.12%
Native American 48 0.14%
Asian 859 2.5%
Pacific Islander 7 0.02%
Other/Mixed 866 2.52%
Hispanic or Latino 18,502 53.76%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 34,417 people, 11,305 households, and 7,470 families residing in the city.

2010 census

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, 6.4% black, 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.[9]

2000 census

According to the census estimate[3] of 2006, there were 33,604 people, 10,689 households, and 8,511 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,408.3 inhabitants per square mile (543.7/km2). There were 11,229 housing units at an average density of 516.0 per square mile (199.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 20% White, 22% Black (U.S. Census), 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 aged 65 or over. After the lay-offs companies like Mohawk Industries paid workers with twenty years seniority a "small severance package."[10]

Mexican Americans

In the 1990s, Mexicans began to immigrate to Dalton to work at carpet factories.[11] By 2010, 48% of Dalton's 33,000 residents were Latino,[12] comprising a plurality of all residents. During the late 1980s economic boom – when demand for carpet mill laborers reached an all-time high – the 320 carpet mills aggressively recruited Latino workers.[12][13] As of 2012, Hispanics constituted the plurality of students at Dalton High School.[14]


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.[15] The monthly daily mean temperature ranges from 41.0 °F (5.0 °C) in January to 79.1 °F (26.2 °C) in July; on average, there are 37.9 days of 90 °F (32 °C)+ highs, 2.0 days where the high fails to reach above freezing, and 62.6 nights where the low falls to or below 32 °F (0 °C) annually.

Climate data for Dalton, Georgia, 1991–2020 normals, extremes 1935–2005
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 79
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 51.1
Daily mean °F (°C) 41.0
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 31.0
Record low °F (°C) −10
Average precipitation inches (mm) 5.18
Average snowfall inches (cm) 0.9
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
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 0.5 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.8
Source 1: NOAA (precip/precip days, snow/snow days 1981–2010)[16][17]
Source 2: XMACIS2[18]



In 2018, the USL League Two awarded a soccer franchise to Dalton. The Dalton Red Wolves SC's inaugural season was in 2019 and the club plays out of Lakeshore Park in Dalton.[19]

Arts and culture

Creative Arts Guild

The Creative Arts Guild is the oldest multi-disciplinary community arts center in the state of Georgia. Founded in 1963 by a group of civic leaders, the Creative Arts Guild began as a grass-roots community movement originally housed in the Old Firehouse on Pentz Street in historic Downtown Dalton. The Guild began offering art, music, dance and theatre classes as well as gallery shows and exhibitions. As programming and class attendance grew, plans for a larger facility were developed. In 1981, the Guild moved to its permanent home at 520 West Waugh Street. The vision of that small group of patrons has grown into an organization that now houses four educational departments (visual art, dance, gymnastics, and music) as well as the Arts in Education outreach programs, events, gallery exhibits, music and dance concerts and recitals and acts as a hub of culture for North West Georgia and South East Tennessee.[20]

Artistic Civic Theatre

Artistic Civic Theatre has served the Northwest Georgia community for twenty-four years, and has reached thousands of citizens through major musical, comedy, and drama productions, ACT2 (the children's wing), student productions in cooperation with schools in Dalton, Whitfield, and Murray counties, touring productions of original adaptations of classic fairy tales, theatrical arts classes co-sponsored with the Creative Arts Guild, the annual Youth Theatre Camp, and the Studio Cabaret live music series. ACT's programs are funded through individual and family memberships, as well as corporate sponsorships and donations. Consider becoming a member or corporate sponsor and help us continue to provide theatrical arts opportunities, entertainment, and educational programs to the Northwest Georgia Community.[21]

Dalton Little Theatre

Dalton Little Theatre held its first documented performance in 1869. The organization began as the Dalton Amateurs and continued as the Sophoclean Dramatic Club, and the Dalton Players, before becoming Dalton Little Theatre in 1955. The theatre has performed continuously except for breaks during World War I and World War II. The organization formally incorporated in 1958 and found its first home in 1981 when it converted the former firehouse built in 1888 into the Firehouse Theatre. The Firehouse Theatre is often referred to as the Old Dalton Firehouse, and it remains the home of Dalton Little Theatre to this day.[22]

Other events

The Downtown Dalton Development Authority hosts a number of events throughout the year, including the Downtown Dalton Farmers Market (May–August), a Downtown Sampler, and an annual Beer Festival. The Dalton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau partners with the DDDA to host the Downtown Dalton Summer Concert Series, featuring local bands. The Young Professionals of Northwest Georgia host a monthly social event to connect and engage area young professionals[23]


View of Dalton, 1940

Pre- history

Woodland Indians and Creek Nation initially held the area of present-day Dalton, Georgia. The first recorded white man in the area was Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto (1540).[24] By the mid-18th century, when the Cherokee forced the Creek Nation out of their homelands, to the west and south, the Cherokee Indians called the mountains of north Georgia their "Enchanted Land" until their own forced removal in 1838.


By the time the last Cherokees were removed from the land, work was underway for a railroad, the Western and Atlantic Railroad (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, 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 front yard 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 boomed 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 Edward Dalton White.[25]

Civil War

During the Civil War, the city of Dalton saw its first action during the Great Locomotive Chase, on April 12, 1862. More than a year later, on September 18–20, 1863, massive Union and Confederate forces battled a few miles west of Dalton at the Battle of Chickamauga, and later during the Chattanooga campaign. The war came to Whitfield County at the First Battle of Dalton, a series of skirmishes between February 22 and February 27, 1864 during which Union Major General George H. Thomas probed Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston's Army of Tennessee to determine if the loss of two full divisions to reinforce Confederate forces elsewhere had made the Army of Tennessee vulnerable to Union attack. Johnston's forces held and Thomas withdrew to Chattanooga. At the beginning of the Atlanta campaign, the Battle of Rocky Face Ridge and Dug Gap began on May 7, 1864 and ended when Johnston completed the withdrawal of his forces from Dalton on May 12. The Second Battle of Dalton occurred during the Atlanta campaign on August 14–15, 1864.

In John Bell Hood's Tennessee campaign, soldiers of Major General Samuel G. French's Division of Lieutenant General Alexander Stewart's Corps of the Confederate Army of Tennessee 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.[26] 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 used to be the location of the Dalton Depot Restaurant (closed since 2015). The steel center marker for the original surveying of the city of Dalton is still inside the depot.[27]

Modern history

The A. D. Strickland Store was once a rural county store, built c. 1878, and is now part of the National Register of Historic Places.[28]

The Bohannon Gang was arrested in Dalton on the 27th of August, 1897. The gang of "car thieves" were believed to have been robbing area cargo trains for about a decade before their capture, and were accused of over $100,000 in cargo theft. Led by Hiram Walter Bohannon, the gang's trial was quickly followed by the "merchant's trials" in which many Dalton area businessmen were accused and convicted of receiving stolen goods. The trial was widely publicized and even appeared in the October 24th, 1897 New York Times.[29] The ring leaders were sentenced to the Cole City Convict Camp, in Cole City, Georgia. The last to be released was Hiram Walter Bohannon, in 1903, after receiving a pardon from Joseph M. Terrell.[30]

Carpet industry

Dalton is often referred to as the "Carpet Capital of the World,"[31] home to over 150 carpet plants. The industry employs more than 30,000 people in the Whitfield County area.[32] More than 90% of the functional carpet produced in the world today is made within a 65-mile (105 km) radius of the city.[32]

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.[33]

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.[34]

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 the modern tufted carpet the choice for functional carpet for the vast majority of homes and moved woven carpet to a decorative role.[32]

By the 1990s carpet scraps had made up 60% of the area's waste, and a balefill site called the Carpet Landfill was created to accommodate the unique issue. It currently stores over 500,000 tons of baled carpet.[35]

From June 2011 to June 2012 as carpet mills that had employed thousands restructured, downsized, cut back productivity and closed, Dalton lost 4,600 jobs—according to the U.S. Labor Department—making it the city with the worst job loss in the United States.[36]

The city's unemployment rate has since dipped to as low as 5.5%.[37]

Government and politics

Election results

Presidential elections results in the City of Dalton
Year Democratic Republican Others
2020 44.46% 3,976 54.12% 4,839 1.42% 127
2016 40.26% 3,015 55.99% 4,193 3.75% 281
2012 37.01% 2,504 61.93% 4,190 1.06% 72

Environmental problems

Dalton's carpet production has taken up to one-third of the Conasauga River summer water flow. The river and city water supply has been contaminated with perfluorinated compounds used to make carpets stain-resistant.[38][39] Dalton Utilities' has processed wastewater using a land application system, that spread effluent on more than nine thousand forested acres in an area called Looper's Bend. Runoff was found to drip down into the river.[40]


Public schools

The Dalton City School District, which covers the entire city of Dalton,[41] holds pre-school to grade twelve, and consists of six elementary schools, a middle school, a high school, and an alternative school.[42] The district has 366 full-time teachers and over 5,739 students.[43]

The Whitfield County School District serves areas outside of the Dalton city limits,[41] even if they have "Dalton, GA" postal addresses. Coahulla Creek High School, Phoenix High School, and Southeast Whitfield High School have Dalton postal addresses but lie outside of the city limits and serve areas not in the city limits.

Charter schools

Alternative schools

Independent schools

Higher education



Dalton Municipal Airport, a general aviation airport, lacking scheduled commercial flights, is southeast of the city. International airports are in Chattanooga to the north and Atlanta to the south.


The Southern Railway had two Cincinnati to Florida named trains, Ponce de Leon (Cincinnati to Florida via Lexington, Chattanooga and Atlanta) and Royal Palm (Cincinnati to Florida via Lexington, Chattanooga and Atlanta) that made stops in the town into the 1960s. The Louisville and Nashville Railroad's Dixie Flagler (Chicago and St. Louis to Florida), Dixie Flyer (Chicago and St. Louis to Florida) and Georgian (Chicago and St. Louis to Atlanta) also made stops in Dalton. The last train was an unnamed L&N Evansville, Indiana - Atlanta, Georgia remnant of the Georgian, ending service on April 30, 1971.[45][46][47][48]


Interstate 75 runs a short distance west of the city. The modern U.S. Route 41 and U.S. Route 76 circumvent Dalton, but historically they ran through the city. Georgia State Route 52 runs through the city's downtown.

Notable people

Sister cities

See also


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  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "Human Development in US Cities and Neighborhoods". Urban Sustainability. Retrieved May 19, 2024.
  5. ^ "Whitfield County History". Whitfield County, Georgia Board of Commissioners. Archived from the original on May 13, 2018.
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  8. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved December 10, 2021.
  9. ^ 2010 general profile of population and housing characteristics of Dalton from the US census
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  11. ^ Rodríguez, Yolanda (April 30, 2003). "Dalton murals depict history of Americas". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. p. E1, E6. - Clipping of first and of second page
  12. ^ a b Valencia, Nick; Tripp, Leslie (December 12, 2011). "After Latino boom, Georgia town's population shifts again". CNN. Archived from the original on May 13, 2018.
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  15. ^ "home Home".[permanent dead link]
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