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Gordon County, Georgia

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1540 When Hernando Desoto explored eastern Gordon County area, he found rich land, wild life, abundant with "corncribs and fields of maize and beans". There was fertile cultivated land along the rivers. Gordon County was in the heart of The Coosa controlled land from Tennessee to Alabama and dominated the natives of Northwest Georgia. [1] After Desoto’s expedition this changed. The European white men brought a smallpox epidemic which killed 90% of the natives since they had no immunity. The ones who survived moved southwest becoming what is known as the Creek Indians.
In early years the fertile valleys made Gordon County an attractive region to live. The fertile valleys enticed the American Indians to pict their lodges in groups beside the streams. Could they have felt as all still do that “the this was the vale where the bright waters meet.”? This was in a natural gateway between the north and south. Before the white man appeared, the Indian trails extended through the valley. Later white traders, adventurers, and then the soldiers of the wars. [2]
Fork Ferry was a junction of the Coosawattee and Conasauga rivers. Here there was pure spring water near good camping sites. Echota was the Indian name for the “Town” located in this area. [2]
Dec 18, 1832 The Bowman Massacre The Salacoe Town of Cherokee Co., posted this entitled
"WHITES AMONG THE CHEROKEES" BY Mary B. Warren and Eve B Weeks, p 110

Settlers petitioned Gov Wilson Lumpkin with this posting. This mentions the deaths of Bowman family by apparently Indians, Dec 15, 1832. The family were killed with the home being robbed and burned. The petitioners requested a troop of 100 men be sent to Salacoe Settlement. Dec 20, Col. William W Williamson investigated and confirmed the murders and pillage. His report: "There must have difficulty between the family and the Indians. He reassured the Governor that all had been done and investigated. [3]

Source: Telamon Cuyler Collection, Gov. Wilson Lumpkin papers, Box 49, Univ of Georgia Library
1821 Sequoyah, a native American scholar developed a syllabary for the Cherokee language, the first written language form for American Indians. He was son of a trader, Nathaniel Gist and a part Cherokee mother. Within two years, books and a Cherokee language newspaper were printed, called "Cherokee Pheonix". [4][5] [6]
1825-1835 Northwest Georgia was left to the Cherokee Indians who occupied all of what became Gordon County. This was the home of New Echota, birthplace of the Cherokee Nation and the Cherokee written language, and newspaper "the Cherokee Phoenix". Georgia regarded it as Cherokee County . The General Assembly passed legislation to survey and divide into land lots. [1]
December 29, 1835 Georgia claimed the Cherokee land under the Treaty of New Echota, with its act authorizing division of the land. The Cherokees agreed to give up claims to Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina land for payment of $5,000,000. This included 10 counties of Gordon County, Cass (later Bartow), Cherokee, Cobb, Floyd, Forsyth, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Murray, Paulding, and Union and distributed the land to whites by land lotteries. [1]
New Echota

New Echota was the last eastern thriving capital of the Cherokee Nation. This was near the point where the Cooslawattee and Conasauga rivers combine to form the Oostanaula River. After this many Cherokees were driven westward. From this site many Cherokees were driven westward to what is now Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears. Following the removal of the Cherokee to Oklahoma, the Gordon area lands were distributed by lottery to white settlers. The New Echota Historic Site is here.[5]

Transportation began on Indian trails, developed to wagon paths, rivers, dirt roads, then paved interstate roads. and the airways. [5]

1838 When many of the Cherokees refused to leave, the United States and Georgia governments sent U.S. Army troops to round up the remaining 15,000 Cherokees still in Georgia. They were marched west on the "Trail of Tears." [1]

The area claimed by the Cherokees was approximately 40,000 sq miles. This included the states of Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. This territory tory was transferred to the white men in the years 1721-1836 after (38) realties had been negotiated. [2]

Late 1840s Dawsonville (named for the owner of a general store) began near the Western & Atlantic Railroad.[1]

Geore W Gordon.
1850 Gordon County was created by a Georgia General Assembly act from part of Cass County and Floyd County as the 94th Georgia County

Gordon County was near the Ridge part and the Valley of northwest Georgia. Interstate 75 runs through this area. Towns are Calhoun, Resaca, Fairmount, Plainville, and Ranger. [5] the Calhoun, Georgia, county seat began on the Western and Atlantic Railroad and named in honor of John C Calhoun, a hawk who steered the United States into the Category: Georgia, War of 1812. [1][7][5]

War of 1812

See: Georgia War of 1812 Gordon County was near the Ridge part and the Valley of northwest Georgia. Interstate 75 runs through this area. Towns are Calhoun, Resaca, Fairmount, Plainville, and Ranger. [8] Gordon County was named for Gen. William Washington Gordon, a state senator and first president of the Central of Georgia Railway. https://gordoncounty.org/about-us/history/

1850 Dawsonville, Georgia was renamed to be Calhoun, Georgia after a U.S. senator, John C Calhoun died. [1]
Feb, 13, 1850 Gordon County was created by a Georgia General Assembly act from part of Cass County and Floyd County as the 94th Georgia County. [1][5]Gordon County's boundaries changed several times as the legislature transferred land from Gordon to Floyd and Murray Counties. Eventually the legislature transferred part of Cass, Floyd, Murray, Pickens, and Walker counties to Gordon County while transferring land from Gordon to Floyd and Murray counties.[1]
Gordon co. GA map.
Gordon County and the City of Gordon in Wilkinson County are named for William Washington Gordon (1796-1842). William W Gordon was the first Georgian to graduate from West Point, the president and founder of Georgia's first railroad (Central Railroad), and grandfather to the Girl Scouts founder, Juliette Gordon Lowe. [1]

1851 The Legislature went further in passing an act to set up the election of officers to be held on first Monday, 1851. Then the new justices of the inferior court were to select a building site, buy the land for the courthouse select a builder to build the county buildingsther instructed the justices to select a site, buy the land, and select a contractor to build the county buildings. Then The legistlature held an election to choose between Calhoun or a centrally located town. The voters chose "Calhoun.[1]

Calhoun, GA,

Jan 12, 1852 The legislature incorporated Calhoun as a city. [1]

1862 Civil War - During his Atlanta campaign, General William T. Sherman moved the Union army directly through Gordon County area. Sherman made his headquarters in Calhoun at Oakleigh (home of the Gordon County Historical Society. The Battle of Rasaca is reenacted each May in fields of the Gordon County. The battles of the fallen are commemorated during the Confederate cemetery ceremony. Hwy 41 has a stone monument which has a map of the troop movements of the area.[5]

Waymarker of Resaca

1862-65 Confederate Civil War Records Battle of Resaca Gen. Grant left written instructions to Sherman were vague. He left the details to his friend’s discretion. Sherman was to move against Johnston’s army, to break it up, and go into the interior of the enemy’s country as far as he could. Sherman typically was more direct in actions. He tried to leave as much damage he could upon the Confederate war by trying to do as much damage to the enemy's resources as possible.

He split his men into too few at Resaca. (3,500 -6,800 Union men) while the Confederates lost slightly over 2,600. But Johnston and the Rebels dug ditches and threw up barriers. Sherman split the troops against the Confederates. Numbers of men in the Union Army 98,000 men and in the Confederate army were 60,000 men. Yet the Union army lost (6800 men) and Confederate lost (2,600 men). The WikiTree category for this battle is Category:Battle of Resaca [9]
Battle of Resaca, Civil War

Each May, fields in the north part of Gordon county, are the sites of the enactment of the Battle of Rasaca. The battles fallen are commemorated during the Confederate cemetery ceremony.

1883 A monument commemorating William Washington Gordon


Early 1900's Cotton mills began and continue today in the form of carpet and textile industry.

  • 1950 Interstate Hwy 75 began.
map; showing Gordon county
  • The Tom B David Field is a private aircraft landing field in Gordon County.
1997 Coosa Valley Technical College (later Georgia Northwestern Technical College) began its Gordon County campus. An adult learning center is sponsored by Calhoun-Gordon Council for a Literate Community [5]

Adjacent Counties

  • Murray County - north
  • Whitfield County - north
  • Gilmer County - northeast. Pickens County - east
  • Cherokee County - southeast
  • Bartow County - south
  • Floyd County - west
  • Walker County - northwest.


1852 Courthouse #1 was built of brick with two stories.. A severe storm it, [1]
1888 The two story brick courthouse was destroyed by a severe storm.[1]
1889 New two-story was built with a clock tower. This lasted until it was demolished in 1960.[1]
Old County Courthouse
1961 Present courthouse was built. [1]
Current County Courthouse


  • Following the Civil War, agriculture became strong as the county recovered from war effects

Protected Areas

  • Calhoun, Salacoa Creek Park in the county - recreation facilities
  • John's Mountain Wildlife Management Area in the Chattahoochee National Forest near the western edge of Gordon County recreation facilitiy




  • Georgia Yellow Hammers, an old-time fiddle string band was active in the 1920s
  • J. M. Henson, a southern gospel musician
  • Bert Lance, director of the Office of Management, Budget for US President, jimmy Carter
  • Roland Hayes, born to former slaves on a farm near Curryville, acclaimed in Europe and the British Isles. Hayes was acclaimed in Europe and the British Isles


  • Visitors are attracted yearly to the New Echota Historic Site reconstructions of the Cherokee town buildings and festivals. There are statues of Sequoyah in the city park near the library.
  • Calhoun–Gordon County Library
  • The Arch, a Civil War (1861-65) monument on the northern edge of Calhoun.
  • Each May, fields in the north part of Gordon county, are the sites of the enactment of the Battle of Rasaca. The battles fallen are commemorated during the Confederate cemetery ceremony.
  • The Harris Arts Center began in 2000 by the Calhoun-Gordon Arts Council, also houses an art gallery, dance studio, art and music classrooms, meeting space, and the Roland Hayes Museum with an exhibition of Hayes'life.
  • Cherokee Capital Fair is an attraction in the fall.
  • Two eighteen-hole public golf courses -magnets to enjoy the temperate climate
  • https://www.mapofus.org/georgia/
  • https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Gordon_County,_Georgia_Genealogy Georgia Genealogies
  • http://www.usgwarchives.net/ga/gordon.htm Archives Records


  • Calhoun
  • Fairmount
  • Plainville
  • Ranger
  • Resaca


In 2010 the population had increased over the 2000 population of 44,104 to 55,186.


  • The Resaca battles of the fallen are commemorated yearly in a Confederate cemetery ceremony.

Hwy 41 has a stone monument which has a map of the troop movements of the area.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 https://gordoncounty.org/about-us/history/
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ga/county/fulton/gordon/gordonhistory/pg%20001-100red.pdf
  3. http://www.usgwarchives.net/ga/gordon/military.html
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequoyah
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 https://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/counties-cities-neighborhoods/gordon-county
  6. https://biography.yourdictionary.com/sequoyah
  7. https://www.history.com/topics/us-politics/john-c-calhoun
  8. https://www.historynet.com/battle-of-resaca.htm

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