“It’s just a good place to live, if you’re looking for a small town. I’ve lived here for 61 years — and I’m 61 years old.”
— Wayne Swanson, City Council
Location: About 30 miles south of Chattanooga in the heart of Walker County, Ga.
Size: 8.1 square miles.
Founded: Sept. 30, 1835.
Government: H. Neal Florence is mayor. City Council members are Andy Arnold, Ben Bradford, Chris Davis, Judy Meeks and Wayne Swanson.
Schools: Rock Spring Elementary, North LaFayette Elementary School, Gilbert Elementary, Naomi Elementary, LaFayette Sixth-Grade Academy, LaFayette Middle, LaFayette High
Attraction: The Mars Theater District. This once-vacant strip of commercial buildings at Chattanooga and Villanow streets has been renovated and is now home to an English-style pub, the local arts guild and a vintage furniture shop.
Fun fact: Country superstar Johnny Cash said he stopped doing drugs after being jailed in LaFayette in 1967 for knocking on doors in the middle of the night while drunkenly searching for Civil War relics. Cash said the talk he had with then-Walker County Sheriff Ralph Jones was the “turning point of it all.” (Cash was treated for drug addiction later in life.)
Famous resident: Confederate Gen. John Brown Gordon moved to the LaFayette area at age 8. The Gordon family built a resort hotel near a spring thought to have medicinal properties. A statue of Gordon on horseback stands in front of the Gold Dome, the state capitol in Atlanta.