ABOUT WHITFIELD COUNTY
Whitfield County broke from Murray County in 1851. Its name remembers Reverend George Whitefield, a preacher whose tent revival sermons lent fire to the First Great Awakening and whose energies, combined with those of John and Charles Wesley, defined the Methodist movement. Actively engaged in communities throughout Georgia, Whitefield founded the Bethesda Orphan House in Savannah. Although it seems an error, county founders purposefully misspelled the preacher's name to reflect its proper pronunciation.
Once known as Cross Plains, Dalton, the county seat, earned its new name when residents decided to compliment a civil engineer who had worked in the area, John Dalton. Dalton is known as "The Carpet Capital of the World" because of the large numbers of carpet mills located in the area. Daltonis steeped in history and is home to a number of historic sites and monuments listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The list includes the Blunt House, the Confederate Cemetery and Monument, and the Dalton Depot.One of the Southeast region's most visited fall events is the Prater's Mill Country Fair in Varnell. A family-friendly jaunt through history, the festival is centered around the old water-powered, still-operating gristmill that was built in the mid-1800s to grind grain into flour or corn into meal.
The fair has grown into a celebration of live music, Southern food, live history exhibits and handmade crafts and original art created by more than 185 talented artists and artisans. Live demonstrations include blacksmithing, quilting, woodcarving, rug hooking and hand tufting, the precursor to the famous Dalton carpet industry.