Resaca is located at (34.579116, -84.943989).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.8 square miles (7.3 km²), of which, 2.8 square miles (7.1 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (2.47%) is water.
Resacas are former channels of the Rio Grande. There are two explanations for the origin of the word "resaca." The less likely holds that it is a contraction of Spanish rio seco ("dry river"). The other is that the word stems from the Spanish resacar ("to retake"), since the primary geological function of a resaca seems to be diversion and dissipation of floodwater from the river. Resacas are naturally cut off from the river, having no inlet or outlet.
Shortened to Resaca, anecdotes abound as to the derivation of the placename, one involving the capture of an Indian maiden by settlers to be offered in marriage to the single man of her choosing. Transported by her captors to the center of the settlement in a gunnysack, she was ceremoniously unveiled to the awaiting public. Upon being viewed in the sunlight, onlookers were aghast at her homeliness; whereupon chants of "Re-sack-'er" arose. The website iGoogle states the translation of the Spanish word Resaca is "hangover." The Town of Resaca was incorporated and granted a charter by the State of Georgia in 1981.
The memory of a Georgia woman, Mary J. Green, who with her own hands gathered and interred the bones and bodies of the Confederate dead left lying on the Resaca Battlefield, should always be sacred to us. The sight that greeted the Green family when they returned to their plantation after the battle was almost more than they could bear. Around the house on all sides were scattered graves of Confederates who had been buried where they fell. The Green daughters conceived the idea of collecting all the bodies and re-interring them in a plot of land to be known as a Confederate cemetery. The one great drawback, however, was that they had no money. In the summer of 1866, Mary began writing to her friends around the state, begging them to try and raise money for the cemetery. Although poverty was rampant in the South, the citizenry responded by giving what they could, be it a nickel, a dime, a quarter, or a dollar. Col. Green gave his daughters 2.5 acres of land with rustic bridges spanning the stream through the grounds of their cemetery.
The account of the first Memorial Day, October 25, 1866, written by Mary Green: "The day selected for the dedication ... was bright and beautiful, one of those charming days of our Indian summers where no sound was heard save the fluttering of falling leaves - a suitable accompaniment to our sad thoughts, as we stood in the 'bivouac of the dead.' " This cemetery and one at Winchester, Virginia, were consecrated and dedicated on the same day, each sponsoring group thinking theirs was the first Confederate Cemetery.
Since 1977, the Resaca area has been the home of the Monastery of the Glorious Ascension , housed in the former midcentury modern hilltop residence purchased from the late Rev. Thurman Chitwood, local entrepreneur and ordained minister in the Church of Christ. The denomination of which Chitwood was a part has received much criticism for its intrusive practices and has been characterized as a cult , but in contrast to Chitwood's fundamentalist underpinnings, the orthodox monastery has created an ironic cultural juxtaposition. The monastery is the only Orthodox Christian monastery in the state of Georgia. At one time the monastery offered hospice to those afflicted with AIDS. Local detractors, prejudiced to AIDS patients and fearing the unfounded casual communicabity of AIDS unsuccessfully sought to have its permitting revoked. The monastery, just across the line in Whitfield County, is under the authority of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. It maintains a cemetery for Orthodox Christians.
The Resaca Beach Poster Girl Contest , a swimsuit pageant at one time known throughout the South, was founded in the nearby city of Dalton in 1983 as a marketing gimmick of Conquest Carpet Mills, Inc. The name is tongue-in-cheek, since there is no ocean for hundreds of miles, although it draws reference to a once popular bathing spot on the Oostanaula riverbank commonly deemed Resaca Beach. Local boosterism proclaims: "Resaca Beach - North Georgia's Gateway to the Gulf." The pageant, which launched the career of Gordon County native Marla Maples, former spouse of real estate magnate Donald Trump, has been held intermittently since the mid-1980s, most recently in 2005. Married in 1993, Maples and Trump have one child, Tiffany, (born October 13, 1993). They divorced on June 8, 1999.
There were 263 households out of which 37.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.7% were married couples living together, 20.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.1% were non-families. 23.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.14.
In the city the population was spread out with 26.3% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 18.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 89.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $30,170, and the median income for a family was $30,938. Males had a median income of $22,321 versus $20,132 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,052. About 8.6% of families and 11.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.4% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.