is a city in Walker County
, United States
. The population was 2,245 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Chattanooga
–GA Metropolitan Statistical Area
In the early to mid-1800’s, the present town of Chickamauga was just a large plantation in the North Georgia rolling hills. The name of the post office was Crawfish Springs-named for Indian Chief Crayfish, of the Cherokee Nation. The Cherokee Indians had settled the area, farming and enjoying the natural beauty of the land. During the War of 1812, five hundred Cherokee soldiers from the area fought with General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend
against the Creek Indians, who were aligned with England. Their valor helped assure victory for the Americans. The Cherokee
nation was divided into districts and courts with Crawfish Springs the county site of one of the districts. A courthouse was built in the town in 1820 and the first court in Walker County
was held here. The Cherokees called this area their home until their forced exodus in 1838, leading to the Trail of Tears.
The area was settled once more by farm families and life was busy and fruitful in the fertile valleys until even this remote part of the south was visited by the sounds of cannon and guns during the American Civil War. The Battle of Chickamauga, named after the Chickamauga Creek which flowed nearby, was fought September 19-20, 1863 and involved more than 150,000 soldiers of the Northern and Southern Armies. Chickamauga is Indian for "River of Blood." Union General Rosecrans had his headquarters in the town prior to the battle at the Gordon Lee Mansion, completed in 1847 and still standing today. During the battle, soldiers were cared for in the home and adjacent buildings with many Union doctors remaining behind to care for the wounded after the Southern victory. Many parched and wounded soldiers of both sides drank from the town’s bubbling Crawfish Spring, still active today.
Crawfish Springs was the site of the reunion in 1889 of soldiers, Northern and Southern, who fought in the Battle of Chickamauga. Called the Blue and Gray Barbecue, hundreds of soldiers and their families visited the sites of the bloody battle of over 30 years prior, smoking the pipe of peace, healing the wounds, and helping start the Chickamauga National Park, known as the Chickamauga Battlefield. The Chickamauga Battlefield, established in 1890, is located just north of the City of Chickamauga, and is a part of the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park, the first and largest in the country.
The City of Chickamauga was incorporated in 1891, named after the Tsikamagi Indian Tribe of the Cherokee Nation. Over the last century, the City has changed and grown, from a population of 95 in 1900 to 2,245 in 2000 (official census). The city is surrounded by the North Georgia mountains and valleys, and the history of the area has been rediscovered and restored wherever possible.
When the city was incorporated, the city's north-south avenues were named for Union and Confederate Generals. Today, avenues named for Longstreet, Hood, Crittenden, Stewart, and more, are clearly marked by large, wood framed signs displaying a description of the General's accomplishments, his picture, and flags of the period.
Politics, government, and law
The current mayor
is Ray Crowder.
The city of Chickamauga contains a total of six schools within the city limits. Three of these make up the Chickamauga City School System
while two are part of the Walker County School System
The final school is a private christian academy.
The Chickamauga City School System
is a semi-public, city tax funded institution that is open to all students that live within the city limits. Students that live outside the city may also attend but must pay tuition since they do not contribute tax dollars for the school. Beginning in the 2006-2007 school year the tuition rate for students outside the city will be $500 per student with a $1500 maximum for a family with multiple children. The school system is comprised of three separate schools which contain all grades K-12.
- Superintendent: Melody Day
- High School
- Principal: Randall Barker
- Assistant Principal: Clay Crowder
- Middle School
- Principal: Benny Ashley
- Assistant Principal:
- Elementary School
- Principal: Kristen Bradley
- Assistant Principal: Benny Ashley
Chickamauga City Schools was recently notified by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
that it has been recognized as a "2004-2005 Super System for Quality Schools." Only 521 school districts in the 11-state region served by SACS received the "Super System" designation.Now 15 schools are in the region
Gordon Lee Memorial High School
was founded by a grant left by the late Gordon Lee of Chickamauga. This grant included a plot of land along with enough money to get the school started. The first graduation consisted of one student, Leon Wiley, in 1917. In 1930 the Main Building, Tom Lee Building, and Olive Lee Building were all constructed. Since that time there have been the additions of the Ware-Jewell Activities Center, which consists of a gymnasium and classrooms, a technology lab building, and the Arthur Yates Building, which houses science and math classrooms. GLHS also shares a cafeteria and band room with Gordon Lee Middle School. Those facilities were added when the middle school was constructed in 1991.
- Valedictorian: Andrea Barger
- Salutatorian: Jordan O'Neal
- Valedictorian: Marissa Whitlock
- Salutatorian: Caleb Bloodworth
Gordon Lee High School is known as the home of the Trojans. All of the sports teams have a longstanding hatred for Trion High School, especially the football team. The football team also has a substantial rivalry with Ridgeland High School, but this is much less mean spirited.
Gordon Lee Middle School
is the newest of all the schools being founded in 1991. This school acquired the 6th grade from the elementary school and the 7th and 8th grades from the high school. The construction of this school included a large band room and cafeteria which is shared by GLHS.- The school also has a wide range of sports and after school activities.
The Chickamauga Elementary School
contains grades K-5. The school presently has 29 classrooms, media center, cafeteria, and gym. The students have specialized classes in art, music, and physical education each week. Roughly 500 students attend the school each year which is staffed by around 50 employees.
Walker County Schools
- Superintendent: Melissa Mathis
Walker County Schools has two schools placed within the city limits of Chickamauga.
Cherokee Ridge Elementary
- Principal: Lori Vann
- Assistant Principal: Steven Brown
- Assistant Principal: Aaron Collins
Cherokee Ridge Elementary is a relatively new school built on the outskirts of Chickamauga. Cherokee Ridge has been the recipient of two awards recently. They were named as a Title I Distinguished School for 2005 and also received the Silver Award, which is an award given from the Governor's Office of Student Achievement.
Walker County Alternative Education Center
The Alternative Education Center in Walker County is located in the former Osburn Elementary School. When Cherokee Ridge Elementary was built the students from Osburn were transferred to the new facility and the Alternative Education program was moved into the still usable Osburn.
Oakwood Christian Academy
The Oakwood Baptist Church founded a private Christian based academy in 1992. Currently the school offers grades Pre-K through 8th with around 200 students enrolled. It is also a church. It sponsors sports teams such as cheerleading and basketball. The sixth, seventh, and eight grade classes are combined into one class, because there are so few students.
Culture and Tourism
Historic Chickamauga has a variety of tourist attractions in and around the city. Lee and Gordon's Mills, one of the oldest mills in the state of Georgia, is located about two miles east of the center of town on the west bank of the Chickamauga Creek. The Walker County Regional Heritage and Model Train Museum is housed in the stone train depot building. The museum exhibits Civil War collectibles, Indian artifacts and Cherokee arrowheads, WWI artifacts, antique guns and furniture and a complete working display of Lionel Old Gauge model trains that date back to 1947. The Chickamauga coke ovens are located just north of downtown Chickamauga on Highway 341. The beehive ovens of the Durham Iron and Coal Company were designed to turn coal into coke for use in the Iron and Steel Foundries in nearby Chattanooga Tennessee. The Gordon Lee Mansion was originally the Gordon residence built by Mr. James Gordon who began construction in 1840 and completed in 1847. The mansion and surrounding buildings are now used as a bed and breakfast as well as a restaurant and banquet center. Crawfish Spring, the main water supply for the early settlements, and later the City of Chickamauga in the early to mid 1900s, is located on Cove Road just south of the main town and across the road from the Gordon Lee Mansion. The spring is no longer used as a water supply and has been converted into a park setting with picnic tables, a swing, and a gazebo. The Holland-Watson Veteran's Park was dedicated on May 27, 2002. This park is named after two Chickamauga soldiers, Sgt. Eddie H. Holland and Cpl. Thomas A. "Tommy" Watson, who lost their lives during Vietnam. A Huey Helicopter is mounted on a pedestal in the center of the walking track as a symbol of the Vietnam War and those who fought and died for their country.
Chickamauga has a number of annual events that bring the citizens together in celebration. Generally, the most anticipated event is Down Home Days. This celebration is held the first weekend in May and features Concerts, Food, Dance, Parades, and Arts and Crafts Vendors. "War Between the States Day" is held the third weekend in September and features living history demonstrations, parades and Arts and Crafts. Activities during the day include reenactors demonstrating soldier camp life, food from the period and artillery firing. Also, demonstrations of refugee camp life will represent life for area farm families affected by the battle. A final celebration in the year is scheduled during the month of December. Christmas in the Streets is a festival celebrating the holiday season including many Holiday activities such as Parades, Christmas Shopping, Tree Lighting, Choirs, Hand Bells, Live Bands, and Pictures with Santa Claus.
Chickamauga is located at (34.874696, -85.292751).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.8 square miles (4.7 km²), of which, 1.8 square miles (4.7 km²) of it is land and 0.55% is water.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 2,245 people, 899 households, and 644 families residing in the city. The population density
was 1,238.8 people per square mile (478.9/km²). There were 951 housing units at an average density of 524.8/sq mi (202.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.35% White
, 0.58% African American
, 0.27% Native American
, 0.22% Asian
, 0.22% from other races
, and 0.36% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 0.40% of the population.
There were 899 households out of which 34.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.2% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.3% were non-families. 25.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the city the population was spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 96.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $40,110, and the median income for a family was $46,037. Males had a median income of $31,447 versus $21,776 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,716. About 5.6% of families and 8.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.8% of those under age 18 and 11.2% of those age 65 or over.