Watch the lighting of the Christmas Star at Crown Gardens & Archives on Fri., Dec. 1. Start your visit at the 1840 Hamilton House, 701 Chattanooga Ave., & learn about Rachel Hamilton, original resident of the house & the woman for whom Mount Rachel is named. Then walk down the sidewalk to the archives & enjoy Christmas caroling led by the Mount Rachel Baptist Church choir.
In partnership with Dalton Utilities’ lighting of the Christmas Star on Mount Rachel, the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society hosts this event annually. The house will be open for tours beginning at 3:00 p.m. Dalton Utilities will light the star around 5:20 just before sundown. The event is free, & the public is invited. Donations are welcome to continue the preservation of Hamilton House, the oldest house in Dalton.
The Dalton First Presbyterian Church choir led Christmas carols at the 2022 Rachel's
This year, the Mount Rachel Baptist Church choir will sing.
In Memory of Mary Hamilton McKnight
Mr. Moody's Room at the Hamilton House
Built in 1840, the Hamilton House is the oldest brick home in Dalton and predates the city. The house was built by John and Rachel Hamilton. John Hamilton was a civil engineer from White Plains, New York. John traveled south to Kingston, Tennessee where he met his wife, Rachel. They were married in Tennessee on February 13, 1834, and moved to Georgia five years later. Hamilton purchased the land where the house now stands from Absolum Holcomb who had purchased it during the Cherokee land lottery. The land previously belonged to a Cherokee Indian named Red Bird who died after he was thrown from his horse while racing on what is now Thornton Avenue. While in Georgia, John worked on the culverts for the railroad that would connect Chattanooga to Atlanta. In addition to his work on the railroad, John ran a large plantation, served as judge of the Inferior Court in the founding of Whitfield County, and was instrumental in the building of Dalton Academy in 1851.
The Hamilton House has served many functions throughout the years. During the winter of 1863-64, General Joseph H. Lewis, commander of the Kentucky Orphan Brigade, made camp with his men next to the spring on the property while Rachael was away in Middle Georgia. Rachael passed away in June of 1876. In 1884, the home was sold to Crown Cotton Mill and served as the superintendent’s headquarters. The Frank and Maud Hamilton family- no relations to the original Hamilton's- occupied the home from 1904 until 1983.
The Whitfield-Murray Historical Society purchased the house in 1997 and placed it on the National Register of Historic Places. WMHS converted the house into a museum containing displays related to the textile industry, famous Daltonians, and much more! The Hamilton House is open for tours every Friday from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. by calling or stopping by the Archives first, and is also available for event rentals.