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Cherokee County, Georgia facts for kids

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Cherokee County
Cherokee County Justice Center
Cherokee County Justice Center
Map of Georgia highlighting Cherokee County
Location within the U.S. state of Georgia
Map of the United States highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Georgia
Founded 1831; 193 years ago (1831)
Named for Cherokee people
Seat Canton
Largest city Woodstock
 • Total 434 sq mi (1,120 km2)
 • Land 421 sq mi (1,090 km2)
 • Water 13 sq mi (30 km2)  2.9%%
 • Total 266,620
 • Density 586/sq mi (226/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 11th

Cherokee County is located in the US state of Georgia. As of 2019 estimates, the population was 258,773. The county seat is Canton, population 29,306 (2018). The county Board of Commissioners is the governing body, with members elected to office. Cherokee County is included in the Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Roswell, Georgia metropolitan statistical area.


Original territory

1822 map of Cherokee lands in Georgia

Originally, Cherokee County was more like a territory than a county, covering everything northwest of the Chattahoochee River and Chestatee River except for Carroll County. This county was created December 26, 1831 by the state legislature. It was named after the Cherokee Indians who lived in the area at that time. Several other counties were carved out of these Cherokee lands as part of the Cherokee Land Lottery of 1832.

1834 map of counties created from Cherokee land

An act of the Georgia General Assembly passed on December 3 of that year created the counties of Forsyth, Lumpkin, Union, Cobb, Gilmer, Murray, Cass (now Bartow), Floyd, and Paulding. The forcible (sometimes at gunpoint) removal of the Cherokee people, leading up to the notorious Trail of Tears to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River, began in this area the year before. The push by European Americans to expel the Cherokee was accelerated by the discovery of gold in local streams.

County courts were authorized to meet at the home of Ambrose Harnage. The settlement soon became known as Harnageville, later called Marble Works, and even later Tate, when Cherokee County was first established. Since 1880 that town has been called Tate, and it is now (since 1853) in Pickens County. Part of that county was taken directly from Cherokee, the other via Gilmer County (itself earlier taken from Cherokee).

Etowah was named the first county seat in 1833. Its name was later changed to Canton.

Remaining county

In 1857, part of the southeastern corner of the county was ceded by the General Assembly to form Milton County (now the city of Milton in the county of Fulton). In the 1890s, The Atlanta & Knoxville Railroad (later renamed the Marietta & North Georgia Railroad when it could not be completed to Knoxville) built a branch line up through the middle of the county. When this line was bought by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad the following decade, the L&N built railroad stations at Woodstock and other towns.


Since the late 20th century, Cherokee County has been part of the Atlanta metro area. It is bisected by Interstate 575, which runs from Marietta north through Woodstock, Lebanon, Holly Springs, Canton, the county seat, and Ball Ground, ending at the Pickens County line into Georgia 515, the Appalachian Parkway developmental highway. Interstate 575 is undergoing significant widening to accommodate growth in Cherokee County population.

The Georgia Northeastern Railroad operates freight service on the former L&N tracks, roughly parallel to this route. Population growth has followed the same general pattern as well, with new suburbs in the south following the highway toward exurbs further north.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 434 square miles (1,120 km2), of which 422 square miles (1,090 km2) is land and 13 square miles (34 km2) (2.9%) is water. Much of the water is in Lake Allatoona in the southwest. The lake is fed by the Etowah and Little rivers (the county's primary waterways), and other large streams such as Noonday Creek. Much of the northern part of the county begins to rise toward the foothills.

The vast majority of Cherokee County is located in the Etowah River sub-basin of the ACT River Basin (Coosa-Tallapoosa River Basin), with only a small northwesterly corner of the county located in the Coosawattee River sub-basin of the same ACT River Basin.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 5,895
1850 12,800 117.1%
1860 11,291 −11.8%
1870 10,399 −7.9%
1880 14,325 37.8%
1890 15,412 7.6%
1900 15,243 −1.1%
1910 16,661 9.3%
1920 18,569 11.5%
1930 20,003 7.7%
1940 20,126 0.6%
1950 20,750 3.1%
1960 23,001 10.8%
1970 31,059 35.0%
1980 51,699 66.5%
1990 90,204 74.5%
2000 141,903 57.3%
2010 214,346 51.1%
2020 266,620 24.4%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2019

2020 census

Cherokee County racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 197,867 74.21%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 17,326 6.5%
Native American 502 0.19%
Asian 5,429 2.04%
Pacific Islander 100 0.04%
Other/Mixed 13,285 4.98%
Hispanic or Latino 32,111 12.04%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 266,620 people, 93,441 households, and 69,257 families residing in the county.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, 214,346 people, 75,936 households, and 57,876 families were living in the county. The population density was 508.3 inhabitants per square mile (196.3/km2). The 82,360 housing units averaged 195.3 per square mile (75.4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 86.6% White, 5.65% Black or African American, 1.65% Asian, 0.4% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.6% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin of any race made up 9.6% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 16.2% were Irish, 16.1% were German, 14.1% were English, 10.7% were American, and 5.7% were Italian.

Of the 75,936 households, 41.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.9% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 23.8% were not families, and 18.8% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.20. The median age was 36.3 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $66,320 and for a family was $77,190. Males had a median income of $53,773 versus $40,153 for females. The per capita income for the county was $30,217. About 5.5% of families and 7.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.4% of those under age 18 and 7.7% of those age 65 or over.


Major highways

  • I-75.svg Interstate 75
  • I-575.svg Interstate 575
  • Georgia 5.svg State Route 5
  • Georgia 5 Business.svg State Route 5 Business (Canton)
  • Georgia 5 Business.svg State Route 5 Business (Ball Ground)
  • Georgia 20.svg State Route 20
  • Georgia 92.svg State Route 92
  • Georgia 108.svg State Route 108
  • Georgia 140.svg State Route 140
  • Georgia 369.svg State Route 369
  • Georgia 372.svg State Route 372
  • Georgia 401.svg State Route 401 (unsigned designation for I-75)
  • Georgia 417.svg State Route 417 (unsigned designation for I-575)


The Cherokee County Airport (FAA LOC ID: CNI) is located adjacent to I-575 about six miles (10 km) northeast of downtown Canton.

A redevelopment project recently completed a 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) terminal, the lengthening of the runway from 3,414 to 5,000 feet (1,041 to 1,524 m), a new parallel taxiway, instrument landing equipment, and new hangars. The new facilities will accommodate 200 corporate aircraft in hangars and provide 100 tie-downs for smaller aircraft.

Public transportation

The Cherokee Area Transit Service serves all of the Cherokee County area, rural and suburban.

Pedestrians and cycling

  • Noonday Creek Trail
  • Serenade Trail
  • Trestle Rock Trail


Unincorporated communities


Public schools

  • Cherokee County School District (40 Schools)
  • Cherokee Charter Academy (CSUSA)

Private schools

Private schools in Cherokee County include:

  • Lyndon Academy (Woodstock)
  • Cherokee Christian Schools (Woodstock)
  • Cherokee Christian Academy (Woodstock)
  • Community Christian School (Canton)
  • Crossroads Christian School (Canton)
  • Omega Learning Academy (Woodstock)
  • The King's Academy (Woodstock)

Higher education

  • Reinhardt University is a private, co-educational liberal arts college located in Waleska, Georgia.

Chattahoochee Technical College has campuses in Woodstock and Canton in Cherokee County.

Notable residents

  • Joseph E. Brown was elected governor of Georgia in 1857 and later served as U.S. Senator from Georgia. Brown's primary residence and law practice were in Canton, and he owned a farm believed to be near the Sutallee community.
  • Ira Roe Foster was Quartermaster General of Georgia, a brigadier general in the Georgia Militia (1845), attorney, medical doctor, Cherokee County State Representative, first mayor of Eastman, Georgia, and Alabama state senator.
  • Josh Holloway, actor and model, is most famous for his role as James "Sawyer" Ford on Lost. He attended Free Home Elementary in Free Home and Cherokee High School in Canton.
  • Johnny Hunt was president of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2008–2010.
  • Chris Kirk, a PGA Tour golfer, attended Etowah High School.
  • Nick Markakis, MLB outfielder for the Atlanta Braves, attended Woodstock High School.
  • Bruce Miller, NFL fullback, formerly played for the San Francisco 49ers, attended Woodstock High School.
  • Robert Rechsteiner, better known as Rick Steiner, ex-professional wrestler, is now a part of the school board for the county. He also sells homes in the county as a real estate agent.
  • Blair Redford, an actor best known for his roles as Scotty Grainger on The Young and the Restless and Miguel Lopez-Fitzgerald on Passions, grew up in Canton.
  • Dean Rusk, U.S. Secretary of State, was born in Cherokee County.
  • Buster Skrine, NFL cornerback for the New York Jets, attended Etowah High School.
  • Drew Waters, professional baseball player for the Atlanta Braves, attended Etowah High School.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Cherokee (Georgia) para niños

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