17 Historic Sites And Tours In Dalton, Georgia

17 Historic Sites And Tours In Dalton, Georgia

We are surrounded with rich and fascinating history.
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From our famous textile heritage, to The Western & Atlantic Railroad Tunnel, to Emery Street School, and everything in between, Dalton is full of rich and fascinating history.

Several organizations in Dalton are working hard to preserve and uncover our history while also simultaneously trying to discover what our present and future identity should be. I have the honor of working for one of these organizations, the Dalton Convention & Visitors Bureau. I hope you will read and share this article, research the things that you're interested in, and make plans to embark upon the historic learning opportunities that we are surrounded with!

Disclaimer: Every single historic site in Dalton is not mentioned in this list and the sites mentioned are not ranked in any particular order, they're all equally awesome.

1. The Western & Atlantic Tunnel Tour and Museum at Tunnel Hill

Construction began on the tunnel in 1848, during which time the population of Tunnel Hill grew to supply accommodations to railway workers. The tunnel, which spans 1,477 feet, was dug through the base of the Chetoogeta Mountain.

On May 9, 1850, the first Western and Atlantic train passed through the tunnel and the new town of Atlanta became one of the railway's major hubs.

The tunnel became part of several historical events during the Civil War (one of which was the Great Locomotive Chase), before heavy railroad traffic and larger train cars getting stuck in the tunnel led to the building of a larger parallel tunnel, ending the use of the tunnel in 1928.

The tunnel faced possible destruction from 70 years of neglect until, in 1992, steps were taken to preserve it. After a lengthy period of restoration and rehabilitation, the tunnel was opened to the public in 2000, just in time for its 150th anniversary.

2. The Clisby Austin House

Built in 1848 by the house's namesake, the Clisby Austin House is a prime example of the antebellum style of architecture. It has experienced several interesting events since its construction, primarily during the Civil War.

The house served as a hospital during the battle of Chickamauga. It was here that Confederate General John Hood was sent to recuperate after the amputation of his leg, which accompanied him along his journey (so it could be buried with him in case he died). The leg is buried near the house. The house also served as headquarters to William Sherman during the Battle of Dalton and it has been said that Sherman planned the Atlanta Campaign here.

The Austin family cemetery is located on a hill across from the house. Rebecca, mother of Clisby, has the only remaining headstone. It is believed that as many as 17 family members are buried there.



3. Tufts of the Past - Textile Heritage Self-Guided Tour

Dalton is wildly famous for our textile heritage. The self-guided tour can be downloadedhere.

4. The Dalton Distillery Tour

Dalton Distillers, LLC uses a family secret recipe of Real Georgia Moonshine that's over 100 years old. The Distillery offers tours to customers interested in learning more about their history and moonshining process.

5. Dalton Ghost Tours

Thrilling guests with their original Dalton ghost walk, haunted pub crawls, special events, paranormal celebrity appearances, private tours, and workshops since 2003.

6. Bandy Heritage Center History Museum

Through traveling exhibits, temporary gallery exhibits, on-line exhibits, educational programing, summer workshops for teachers, and other events, the Bandy Heritage Center encourages learning about Georgia's rich history and culture.

7. The Emery Center

The Emery Center, formerly Emery Street School is located in Dalton, Georgia, its mission is to promote awareness of African American culture and heritage. This museum is mind-blowing! So much content has been preserved to tell the history of the African American culture and heritage in Dalton. If you have never visited the Emery Center, please make it a point to do. I have so much respect for everyone involved in this institution.

8. Old Federal Road Driving Tour

In 1805, the U.S. and Cherokee established the Treaty of Tellico to build the Federal Roadthrough Cherokee territory. Driving the route takes about three hours. The audio CD tour may be purchased at the W&A Railroad Museum.

9. The Huff House Tour

This antebellum home was the headquarters of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston during the Civil War in the winter of 1863-64. It was also the site where Gen. Patrick Cleburne proposed arming slaves in exchange for their freedom to alleviate the manpower shortage facing the Confederacy.

Mrs. Lida E. Huff bought the house in 1890. At that time, the house faced the RR tracks (the Great Locomotive Chase passed by here in 1862), but approximately 18-years later Mrs. Huff had the house turned around so it would face the street like the newer homes on Selvidge. They accomplished this by placing the house on a turnstile powered by mules. The home stayed in the Huff family until 1971.

It has since been used as an office building. The Boring and Hill families donated the Huff House to the WMHS August 2013. The WMHS plans to restore the building and use it as a museum focusing on the house’s history.

10. The Hamilton House Tour

The oldest brick home in Dalton, Hamilton House was built by John Hamilton around 1840. During the winter of 1863, when Gen. Joseph E. Johnston and the Army of Tennessee occupied Dalton, Brig. Gen. J.H. Lewis headquartered here. His tent near the Spring House was the location where battle strategy was discussed and implemented. Guided tours offer an in-depth look at the history behind the house.

11. The Blunt House

An 1848 home of Dalton's first mayor, postmaster and religious leader, the Blunt House is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was the first two-story house built in Dalton.

12. Prater's Mill

Built by Benjamin Franklin Prater in 1855, the water powered mill was originally fitted with the latest in grain cleaning, grinding and sifting machinery, all powered by the Coahulla Creek. The grounds host the Prater's Mill Country Fair every October! Fishing is permitted in Coahulla Creek. A nature trail provides a walkthrough of the area, and with a donation, the grounds can be reserved for private use.


13. Dug Gap Battle Park

These breastworks were built by Civil War soldiers during the Atlanta Campaign and feature a scenic view from the top of Dug Gap Mountain hiking trail that overlooks the Dalton area as well as the Georgia mountains.

14. Civil War Driving Tour

Take a guided driving tour with the "War Comes To Dalton" Civil War driving tour. Whitfield County is home to a rich Civil War heritage. This area felt the war's impact almost from the beginning of the conflict, thanks largely to the presence of a main north-south rail line: the Western & Atlantic.

During the early years of the war, Whitfield County witnessed the famous Great Locomotive Chase along with more customary sights such as troop trains and supply shipments puffing along the tracks. The area later became a hospital zone for Confederate wounded, using hospitals, churches and private residences to provide these medical services and eventually creating the need for a military cemetery.

The driving tour highlights the opening action of Sherman's Campaign. For sale now in The Dalton Freight Depot Welcome Center in historic Downtown Dalton, and the Tunnel Hill Heritage Center in Tunnel Hill. For more information or to order your copy, call 706-270-9960.

15. Cohutta-Chattahoochee Scenic Byway

From the historic Praters Mill grist mill to the Cohutta Fishery to the top of Fort Mountain, a drive along the Cohutta-Chattahoochee Scenic Byway affords a view of northwest Georgia natural beauty and historic sites.

16. Confederate Cemetery and Memorial Wall

This cemetery has 421 Confederate and four "unknown" Union soldiers. The recently discovered names of the Confederates are engraved on the Memorial Wall. The cemetery entrance is across from West Hill Chapel.

17. The Dixie Highway of Dalton

The Dalton GA U.S. 41 Dixie Highway ran right down Hamilton St. in Downtown Dalton, as we know it now. There are currently several things in the works to continue preserving and promoting the Dixie Highway of Dalton. Stay tuned!

Thank you to everyone who has fought hard in many ways to make and preserve the history of our great town of Dalton.

"History is not was, it is." -William Faulkner
Cover Image Credit: Civil War Railroad Tunnel

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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21 Quotes From Twyla Tharp's 'The Creative Habit' That Will Fuel Your Artistic Self

Use your half-baked ideas for good!

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Twyla Tharp is a master dancer and choreographer. She's worked with the world's most prestigious artists to create works that will withstand the test of time. She published her book "The Creative Habit" as a viewing window for seeing into her creative process. Tharp offers both hard truths and gently encouraging words for both serious artists and everyday people just trying to expand their circle of knowledge about art. I compiled some quotations from the book that were profound, useful and to-the-point when it comes to examining artistic development.

1. "Creativity is not just for artists. It's for businesspeople looking for a new way to close a sale; it's for engineers trying to solve a problem; it's for parents who want their children to see the world in more than one way."

You get some creativity! YOU get some creativity! Everyone gets creativity!

2. "If art is the bridge between what you see in your mind and what the world sees, then skill is how you build that bridge."

3. "Everything that happens in my day is a transaction between the external world and my internal world. Everything is raw material. Everything is relevant. Everything is usable. Everything feeds into my creativity."

4. "In the end, there is no one ideal condition for creativity. What works for one person is useless for another. The only criterion is this: Make it easy on yourself. Find a working environment where the prospect of wrestling with your muse doesn't scare you, doesn't shut you down."

5. "Someone has done it before? Honey, it's all been done before. Nothing's really original. Not Homer or Shakespeare and certainly not you. Get over yourself."

Ouch. Toes stepped on.

6. "Metaphor is the lifeblood of all art, if it is not art itself. Metaphor is our vocabulary for connecting what we're experiencing to what we have experienced before."

"It's *literally* like this..."

7. "...get busy copying. Traveling the paths of greatness, even in someone else's footprints, is a vital means to acquiring skill."

Choose your muse wisely!

8. "You can't just dance or paint or write or sculpt. Those are just verbs. You need a tangible idea to get you going. The idea, however minuscule, is what turns the verb into a noun..."

9. "When you're in scratching mode, the tiniest microcell of an idea will get you going. Musicians know this because compositions rarely come to them whole and complete. They call their morsels of inspiration lines or riffs or hooks or licks. That's what they look for when they scratch for an idea."

You know you look crazy, but press on, baby ideas in hand!

10. "It doesn't matter if it's a book, magazine, newspaper, billboard, instruction manual, or cereal box -- reading generates ideas, because you're literally filling your head with ideas and letting your imagination filter them for something useful."

"Alexa, play the Reading Rainbow theme song."

11. "...there's a fine line between good planning and overplanning. You never want the planning to inhibit the natural evolution of your work."

Screw this global need for instant information. You gotta just let things run their course sometimes.

12. "Habitually creative people are, in E.B. white's phrase, 'prepared to be lucky.' You don't get lucky without preparation, and there's no sense in being prepared if you're not open to the possibility of a glorious accident. In creative endeavors luck is a skill."

Twyla Tharp is really just a more Type A version of Bob Ross.

13. "I know it's important to be prepared, but at the start of the process this type of perfectionism is more like procrastination. You've got to get in there and do."

14. "You're only kidding yourself if you put creativity before craft. Craft is where our best efforts begin. You should never worry that rote exercises aimed at developing skills will suffocate creativity."

15. "That's what the great ones do: They shelve the perfected skills for a while and concentrate on their imperfections."

16. "Without passion, all the skill in the world won't lift you above your craft. Without skill, all the passion in the world will leave you eager but floundering. combining the two is the essence of the creative life."

17. "My heroes are those who've prevailed over far greater losses than I've ever had to face."

18. "Part of the excitement of creativity is the headlong rush into action when we latch onto a new idea. Yet, in the excitement, we often forget to apply pressure to the idea, poke it, challenge it, push it around, see if it stands up. Without that challenge, you never know how far astray your assumptions may have taken you."

19. "...there's a lesson here about finding your groove. Yes, you can find it via a breakthrough in your craft. But you can also find it in other means -- in congenial material, in a perfect partner, in a favorite character or comfortable subject matter."

20. "A math professor at Williams College bases ten percent of his students' grades on failure. Mathematics is all about trying out new ideas -- new formulas, theorems, approaches -- and knowing that the vast majority of them will be dad ends. To encourage his students not to be afraid of testing their quirkiest ideas in public, he rewards rather than punishes them for coming up with wrong answers."

This approach would've been so helpful.

21. "I began as a dancer, and in those days of pain and shock I went back to where I started. Creating dance is the thing I know best. It is how I recognize myself. Even in the worst of times, such habits sustain, protect, and, in the most unlikely way, lift us up."

Take Twyla's knowledge and have fun exploring creativity in your personal life!

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