In the 1840’s plans were drawn up by the Western & Atlantic Railroad to connect the Tennessee River with the Georgia Railroad. Construction of the railroad began in 1848, and the final segment of this pivotal railways was completed with the famous Railroad Tunnel that goes through the Chetoogeta Mountain in Tunnel Hill, Georgia. The railroad became one of the most important industries in Dalton throughout the 1850’s. The railroad provided businesses the transportation tools they needed to transport their products across state bounds. In Dalton, the number one industry in the 1850’s was cotton.
Cotton was transported to the rest of the country via the railroad in Dalton, and provided Dalton with economic stability. Soon new settlers would come, build houses, start businesses, and provide even more economic stability for Dalton. In 1847, the Western & Atlantic Depot was constructed in Dalton and became a pivotal stopping location for travelers and industry alike. The Dalton Depot still stands today.