The boundaries of Walker County were originally set in 1833, carved from neighboring Murray County and land once belonging to the Cherokee tribe. During its early years, the Georgia legislature changed Walker County’s boundaries four times. In 1837, Dade County was ceded from Walker’s extreme northwestern corner. In 1838, part of Walker and Floyd Counties became Chattooga County. In 1851, part of Walker and Murray Counties were combined to form Whitfield County. And, in 1857, Catoosa County was taken from portions of Walker and Murray Counties.
The original center of Walker County government was shared by two communities, Benton and Chattooga. By 1835, these settlements had nearly grown together. So, in 1836 the town was renamed, LaFayette, in honor of the Marquis de LaFayette who assisted George Washington during the Revolutionary War.
Several major battles have occurred in Walker County over the years, including the Battle of Chickamauga, the second bloodiest battle during the Civil War.
From Chattooga Academy and the Marsh House to the Gordon-Lee Mansion and Coke Ovens, you’ll find a host of places where you can step back in time and see what life was like in the 1800’s. Visit our Attractions page for a sample of some of the historic sites available to visit on your next trip to Walker County.
For those conducting research, two great resources are publicly available. A digital archive of the Walker County Messenger from 1880 to 1924 can be accessed online from the Georgia Public Library Service. Also, the LaFayette-Walker County Library features a genealogy area. You need to visit in person to access the material, but you can see an overview of what is available here.
In 2021, Walker County’s form of government changed from a Sole Commissioner to a Board of Commissioners. Read the enabling Act (165) approved by voters. Also, see the Board of Commissioners District Map here. The county previously changed from a Board to a Sole Commissioner in 1940.