Dawsonville, GA, is the official government seat of Dawson County and it is located about 10 miles northwest of Lake Lanier, a beautiful man-made reservoir that is used as a source of drinking water by the City of Atlanta. Dawsonville is also 10 miles south of Amicalola State Park and it contains Amicalola Falls, the tallest cascading waterfall in America east of the Mississippi River. Millions of people travel to Lake Lanier and Amicalola State Park each year to enjoy sightseeing, swimming, boating, camping and fishing, and tourism accounts for a significant portion of Dawson County’s economy. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Dawsonville had a population of 619 in the year 2000 and a total land area of 1.9 square miles.
Dawsonville’s history as a small peaceful residential community situated in a beautiful, tranquil valley near the Blue Ridge Mountains began with violence and anarchy after gold was discovered near Dahlonega in 1828. The first buildings constructed in Dawsonville were the county government courthouse and the official county jail. Both Dawsonville and Dawson County were named after William Crosby Dawson, a well known Georgian judge, soldier and political authority who was in favor of slavery and state’s rights over federal rights. After the Civil War, growth in Dawsonville stagnated until Lake Lanier was created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1956 and the increase in tourism stimulated commercial development.
Dawsonville exemplifies a relaxed, country lifestyle
Dawsonville is characterized by a relaxed country lifestyle without traffic jams and the pressures of urban life. At the 23,979 acre Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area, residents can enjoy fishing, hunting, hiking, horseback riding, and canoeing on the Amicalola and Etowah Rivers. Popular annual festivals in Dawsonville include Spring Fling in May, a 2-day convention of local artists and crafts people in downtown Dawsonville, and the Mountain Moonshine Festival in October, which celebrates Dawson County’s colorful history during the prohibition era.
The cost of living index in Dawsonville is relatively low at 89.3 and the average population density is only 325 people per square mile. Property taxes in Dawson County are about 50% lower than property taxes in neighboring counties and the public school system is excellent. During the 1990’s, a considerable amount of upscale condominium and townhouse development created a new market for luxury homes in Dawsonville, and today the City of Dawsonville is a modern residential community that is ideally suited for families with children or for luxurious retirement living.