Mt. Rachel Christmas Star: A Dalton Holiday Tradition

Dalton Utilities lights the Christmas star on top of Mount Rachel each year, continuing a tradition that has been a part of our community for over 70 years.   The star, owned and maintained by Dalton Utilities, is lit on December 1st each year and shines throughout the holiday season through New Year’s Day.

The Mount Rachel Star measures 40 feet in diameter and towers 65 feet above the mountain.  Over 230 bulbs give the star its glow, which can be seen several miles away.

 The original Mount Rachel Christmas star was built in 1935 by the late Carl McCamy, former superintendent of Dalton Utilities.  The original structure was a 30-foot tall wooden frame with 150 light bulbs attached to a pole.  The temporary structure was placed on top of Mt. Rachel each December.

A local tradition, the Mount Rachel star is an integral part of our local Christmas celebrations.   According to Carl McCamy’s daughter, the late Ann Henderson, “The star was lit every year after 1935, except during the blackouts in World War II.  After my father’s death, my mother would light the star.”

 In 1947, V.D. Parrott, Jr., former Dalton Utilities’ president, and the Board of Water, Light and Sinking Fund Commissioners replaced the original wooden star with a permanent structure made of iron.  The star was completely overhauled in 2005 when Dalton Utilities’ personnel rebuilt the frame, replaced all the lights and rewired the structure, so that this beacon of the holiday season could continue to shine for future generations.