Four Gateway Cities are the entry points to the Chieftains
Trail, Marietta (South), Rome (West), Dalton (North) and Ellijay (East).
You may follow the trail clockwise or counter-clockwise from any city.
Our only recommendation would be that if you decide to visit the Chieftains
Trail a second time, as many people have done, try doing it in the opposite
direction for a change of scenery.
The oldest continually inhabited city in present-day
Georgia this Cherokee village was first mentioned in writing in writing
in 1731, two years before James
Oglethorpe came ashore and founded the city of Savannah. It is recorded
in public documents as early as 1755 and William
Bartram mentions the city in his "Travels" (1773-1777).
Settlers replaced the Cherokee beginning in 1832, finally becoming a
city in the state of Georgia after the Cherokee Removal. In the 1880's
a railroad boom fed the still small village. When the boll weevil destroyed
the cotton crop in the 1920's this area did better than most. It had
begun to raise a significant apple crop, commemorated by its yearly
Founded in 1834, the city grew rapidly thanks to the
Western and Atlantic Railroad which ran a block from downtown. During
the Civil War it served as a hospital town until the war reached its
doors during William
Tecumsah Sherman's Atlanta
Campaign. After the war the city returned to rapid growth as a milling
center thanks to the abundant natural power of its rivers. It also became
a railroad hub of sorts, eventually allowing trains to avoid Atlanta.
In the 1920s U.S. Highway 41 became a major artery feeding the city,
and 50 years later I-75 fueled even more growth. Complete
history of Marietta, Georgia
Not many towns can claim as much history as Rome, Georgia.
It includes a bloody battle at present-day Myrtle Hill cemetery between
the Cherokee and area settlers and the homes of two of the most noted
Cherokee leaders (only Major Ridge's home still stands). With the arrival
of settlers in the 1830's Rome got down to business. When the railroad
bypassed Rome its civic leaders got together and built a spur from the
city to the nearest depot (Kingston). Rome's reputation as an industrial
city made it a major target of the Atlanta
Campaign. After the war Rome became a transportation hub and industrial
history of Rome, Georgia
Site of numerous Civil War battles, Dalton, Georgia,
served as home for the Army of Tennessee during winter of 1863-4. Around
the start of the 20th century a cottage industry, quilting, developed
in the area around the city. This was transformed through the vision
of Catherine Evans Whitener into today's carpet industry. Almost 90%
of the functional carpet in the United States is produced within a 50-mile
radius of the city.Complete
history of Dalton, Georgia