The Cherokees who first occupied this area called northern Georgia their "enchanted land," but the discovery of gold caused a land rush, an illegal treaty of expulsion, and the Trail of Tears. Dalton was created when the Western and Atlantic Railroad was built to connect Atlanta with Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 1863, during the Civil War, this small town became a battle scene along Gen. William T. Sherman's march, with both armies occupying the community. After the war, the leading citizens built Crown Cotton Mill and Village to expand the town's economy. In 1895, fifteen-year-old Catherine Evans hand-tufted a bedspread, ushering in the bedspread and tufted carpet bonanzas. With the invention of tufting machines in the 1930s and 1940s, Dalton boomed as carpet companies, supply houses, bedspread lines, and retail outlets brought wealth to the city. At one point, there were more millionaires per capita in Dalton than anywhere in the country. Today Dalton is growing with the help of a diverse Hispanic labor force and continues to be the Carpet Capital of the World.
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