Category Archives: –WHITFIELD COUNTY GA–

Temple Beth El, 1947, Dalton

The Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities notes: Antebellum Dalton had few if any Jews to speak of. Though more commercially open and successful than towns like it, Dalton was still emblematic of what historian Douglas Flamming called “hilly upcountry,” marked by “its self-sufficient yeoman farmers and its economic isolation.”It was only with the advent of the industrial New South that a Jewish presence developed in Dalton.

By 1938, Dalton’s small Jewish community formed the “Friendly Alliance”, for the purpose of hosting minyans and coming together for High Holiday services in the Loveman Library. By 1941, plans to build a synagogue were made, but World War II delayed progress. The new temple was formally dedicated on 9 March 1947 and has served the community since then, albeit a smaller one today.


Hamilton-Squires House, 1910, Dalton

Thornton Avenue-Murray Hill Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

McCutchen House, 1867, Dalton

This Italianate home was built for Judge Cicero Decatur McCutchen (31 October 1824-17 March 1898) with bricks made on the property. It remained in the McCutchen family for well over a century.

Thornton Avenue-Murray Hill Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Olivia C. Brown House, 1900, Dalton

I’m not sure who built this Colonial Revival Georgian house, but the earliest name I can find associated with it is Mrs. Olivia C. Brown, who was living here as late as the 1940s. Reverend James L. Clegg and the Davies family were later residents.

Thornton Avenue-Murray Hill Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Henry C. Hamilton House, 1924, Dalton

This house is a fine example of the English Vernacular Revival style. It was built between 1923-1924 for Henry C. Hamilton, whose father George W. Hamilton was the president of the Crown Cotton Mill.

Thornton Avenue-Murray Hill Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Hugh James Herron House, 1880, Dalton

This house was built for Hugh James Herron, who came to Dalton from Ohio and owned a dry goods business. It has also been identified as the Mann House.

One source suggests it originated as an I-House and took on its present Neoclassical appearance in the 1920s. The Colonial Revival doorway would have been a popular amendment at the time, as well.

Thornton Avenue-Murray Hill Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Felker House, 1892, Dalton

This elegant Queen Anne home was built by Thomas Monroe “T.M.” Felker (30 October 1848-14 April 1901), a local businessman. Four generations of his family lived in the home, until the 1980s. It now serves a commercial purpose but retains its charm.

Thornton Avenue-Murray Hill Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Ainsworth E. Blunt House, 1848, Dalton

Ainsworth Emory Blunt, Sr., (22 February 1800-21 December 1865) was born in Amherst, New Hampshire and in the 1820s came to Chattanooga as a missionary with the American Board of Foreign Missions to teach English, religion, and agriculture to Cherokee natives of the Brainerd Mission. After traveling with some of the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears, he returned to Chattanooga and helped establish the First Presbyterian Church there. He moved to Dalton, then known as Cross Plains, around 1843, and built a successful mercantile business with his son-in-law Benjamin Morse.

Blunt served as the first mayor and first postmaster of Dalton. He built this Federal Style house, the second oldest house and the first two-story example in Dalton, in 1848. In 1863 and 1864, Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston and his staff were entertained by the Blunt family in this home. After the Confederates pushed south toward Atlanta, Union forces used the house as a field hospital. It remained in the ownership of Blunt’s descendants until 1978. The house is now a museum operated by the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society.

National Register of Historic Places


Brutalist Architecture*, Dalton

One-hundred-fifty-nine is the magic number when documenting Georgia, and with this entry (and those that will follow) from Whitfield County, I’m proud to add the 159th and final county to Vanishing Georgia! My ongoing coverage of Georgia has evolved over the years, and I’ve ventured more into cities because the rural gems I found in the early days are vanishing so quickly that I can’t keep up with them all. Much of what I’ve documented is gone, and much of it is doing fine. The overall theme remains, though, in that I strive to document places that represent a time and style that are lost today. Thanks for coming along for the ride and being such an important part of my journey. While I’m not as engaged in social media as I once was and I’m doing more commercial work these days, I am always grateful for all that you share with me.

*-The structure pictured above is presently owned by Windstream/Kinetic, but considering it likely dates to the 1960s or 1970s, was built by an earlier telephone company. Its placement in the historic residential area of South Thornton Avenue must have been quite controversial at the time.

The architecture, known as Brutalism, is widely disliked but does have admirers. It’s known as Brutalism not for its stark aesthetic but rather from the French term Béton brut, which translates to raw concrete.