The community of Dalton stands quiet and serene today. But that wasn't always the case.

Many years ago the small village was alive with the comings and goings of its residents. Most of the hustle and bustle of Dalton revolved around the stores that formed the center of town.

The tiny community boasted two tobacco factories when the industry was in its heyday.

In Dalton's early days the community stores were kept well-stocked because of the lack of a good way into or out of the village. Local merchants stocked hardware, medicine and top-of-the-line sewing materials.

Dalton had a post office, two schools, a sawmill, a saloon and a thriving blacksmith's shop. Because of difficult travel, the local blacksmith was relied upon heavily. He was responsible for repairing the townspeople's farming equipment and wagons and for shoeing their horses.

There is no concrete establishment date for the community of Dalton, but schools have been present in the area since the days of the Civil War.

The first school in Dalton was a traditional one-room school that later expanded to four rooms. It eventually expanded to a high school. The first class to graduate from Dalton High School was a group of eight in 1930.

By the time Dalton had seen its first graduating class, the activities of the town were settling down. The tobacco factories left in the 1920s and not much came into the town afterwards.

Dalton is mostly residential today. Two churches remain in the community, as does the old school building that was vacated this year as a result of recent school district re-zoning.

This feature story originally appeared in the The Messenger in the small towns section of their "Changing Face of Hopkins County" on September 6, 1996 and was written by Slone Hutchison, a summer intern from Murray State University working with The Messenger to gain practical news papering skills during her summer vacation.

My thanks to The Messenger for granting permission to publish on the Hopkins County, Kentucky KyGenWeb page.

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Nancy Trice
Hopkins County, Ky

© 1997

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