State of Dade

State of Dade

Legendary county seceded from Georgia, U.S.

August 13th, 2012 by Tim Omarzu in Glimpse 2012-a

An overlook at Clouldland Canyon State Park gives visitors a view into the canyon.

An overlook at Clouldland Canyon State Park gives...

Photo by John Rawlston /Times Free Press.

Trenton is the seat of Dade County, also known as "The State of Dade." It has a history of going its own way. Settlers first came to Trenton in the 1830s. Incorporated on February 18, 1854, the city recognizes the industrial engineers from Trenton, N.J., who came to the area in search of coal and iron.

Hiking Cloudland Canyon

• Located on the western edge of Lookout Mountain, this is one of the most scenic parks in the state, offering rugged geology and exceptional hiking.

• The park straddles a deep gorge cut into the mountain by Sitton Gulch Creek, and elevation differs from 800 to 1,980 feet.

• The most spectacular view into the canyon is an easy walk from the picnic area; however, hikers can also explore a rim trail or journey to the canyon floor by a series of staircases.

• Hikes include a 4.8-mile West Rim Loop, 2-mile Waterfalls Trail, 2-mile Backcountry Loop, 9-mile Cloudland Connector Trail, 6.5-mile Sitton's Gulch Trail, Canyon Climbers Club

Source: Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Catch a flick outdoors

• The Wilderness Outdoor Movie Theater bills itself as the "world's largest outdoor theater."

• It has two screens. Tickets are $7 per person, but children under 3 get in free and allows you to watch two movies on one screen.

• The theater has zero-tolerance for alcohol, and visitors can't bring in food or drink. Those can be purchased from the concession stand, whose menu includes cheeseburgers for $4.50, soft drinks for $2.75 and cotton candy for $3.

• The theater is less than 15 minutes from downtown Chattanooga. From Chattanooga Take Interstate 24 West 10 miles then take Interstate 59 South for one mile to Exit 17 Slygo Road and follow the signs. See the website at or call toll free at 866-966-8431.

Source: Wilderness Outdoor Movie Theater

To secede or not to secede

• The State of Dade Heritage Festival is held in May at the courthouse square. The event runs from Friday to Sunday and this year included such activities as a multi-tribe Indian pow-wow and a re-enactment by high school students of Dade County's historic secession debate. Legend has it that the county's residents went ahead and seceded from the Union in 1860, before the rest of Georgia did.

• New Salem Mountain Festival: This festival on Lookout Mountain is held on the second weekend in October on wooded property behind the New Salem Community Center at 12477 Highway 136 in Rising Fawn, Ga. About 100 artists and craftsmen will exhibit pottery, furniture, stained glass, jewelry, dog accessories, chimes, holiday decor and other handiwork. New Salem is sponsored by the New Salem Community Improvement Club, and its proceeds benefit the community center and New Salem Fire and Rescue.

Source: New Salem Community Improvement Club

Look for "Mel Made" at Thatcher's Barbeque

• Thatcher's Barbeque and Grille was started in April 2010 by Melanie and John Thatcher.

• On the menu you will see "Mel Made" written on many of the side items. The owner herself, makes these darn-near-famous sides and desserts daily.

• Open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday; closed Sunday. Call 706-657-6465.

Source: Thatcher's Barbeque and Grill

Settlers sought iron, coal

• Population in 2010: 2,301.

• Number of miles from downtown Chattanooga: 20

• Landmarks or geographic features: Lookout Mountain.

• Date founded: Feb. 18, 1854

• Historic Info: Settlers first came in the 1830s and called the town "Salem." It was named Trenton when it incorporated on Feb. 18, 1854, after industrial engineers came from Trenton, N.J., looking for coal and iron.

• Famous resident: Ashley Houts plays guard with the Washington Mystics in the Women's National Basketball Association. Born in 1987, she was homecoming queen in her senior year.