Walker County, in northwest Georgia, is the state's ninetieth county and comprises 447 square miles. Its northern border is shared with Tennessee. The county was created in 1833 from Murray County and named after Major Freeman Walker, an Augusta lawyer and U.S. senator. In later years Dade (1837), Chattooga (1838), and Catoosa (1853) counties were each formed from parts of Walker County. In 1859 land from Walker was transferred to Whitfield County.
The county seat is LaFayette, incorporated in 1835 as Chattooga. A year later the name was changed to honor the Marquis de Lafayette. An early courthouse may have been the Cherokee-built former council house in Crawfish Spring (later named Chickamauga). Another courthouse, built in 1838, burned down in 1883 and was
Walker County was the scene of battle during several major American conflicts. In 1778, during the Revolutionary War (1775-83), colonial troops fought successfully against the local Chickamauga Indians, who were allied with the British. During the War of 1812 (1812-15), the Battle of Horseshoe Bend was fought between Upper Creeks allied with the English and Andrew Jackson, who was supported by 500 local Cherokee troops, several thousand U.S. regulars, members of the
In 1850 approximately 13,100 people lived in Walker County. After the Civil War, life became so difficult that people began to leave in large numbers, many resettling west of the Mississippi River. The population did not reach 1850 levels again until 1890.
Economy and Attractions
During the twentieth century, textiles and tourism supplemented farming as primary economic mainstays for Walker County. Today manufacturing is the largest employment sector, and one of the largest employers is Shaw Industries, the world's largest carpet manufacturer.
Educational institutions include Covenant College, a four-year liberal arts college (also offering a master's degree in education) affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in America and located on top of Lookout Mountain, and a campus of Georgia Northwestern Technical College, located in the Rock Spring community.
According to the 2010 U.S. census, the population was 68,756, an increase from the 2000 population of 61,053.
Susan R. Boatright and Douglas C. Bachtel, eds., Georgia County Guide (Athens: Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, University of Georgia, annual).
James Alfred Sartain, History of Walker County, Georgia (Dalton, Ga.: Showalter, 1932).
Elizabeth B. Cooksey, Savannah
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