North Georgia is the mountainous upper region of the state bordered by Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The Appalachian Mountains are the defining characteristic of the area, including the state’s highest point at Brasstown Bald. The largest cities in the region include Athens, Gainesville, Rome, and Dalton.
The Cherokee people were among the earliest settlers to the area. In the 1820s, the discovery of gold in Lumpkin County led to the first gold rush in the state and one of the earliest gold rushes in the nation’s history. The event led to the increased settlement of Americans in north Georgia and the Cherokee were forcibly removed in the 1830s. Some of the most significant battles of the Civil War were fought in north Georgia between 1861 and 1865, including Kennesaw Mountain, Chickamauga, and the early battles of General William T. Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign.
North Georgia has since developed into a tourist destination. The beauty of the mountainous landscape is a major attraction to the area. Hiking enthusiasts are drawn to the Appalachian Trail’s southern terminus point at Springer Mountain in Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest. Northern Georgia is also home to the state’s largest university, the University of Georgia, in Athens; the largest carpet industry in the world in Dalton; and the alpine-themed city of Helen.
For information on the historical placement of Georgia's counties, see William Thorndale and William Dollarhide's Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920.