Some records indicate Ball Ground was originally named Battle Ground on early maps. The town is located near fields that the Cherokee people used to play stick ball, a rough game similar to modern lacrosse. The large fields and abundance of freshwater streams made Ball Ground an alluring place for the large gatherings of Native Americans because the ball game required large, flat fields, and there were plenty of natural resources to support large groups of people. When settlers entered the area, the streams and fields attracted farmers, who dammed up creeks to create numerous man-made ponds and lakes. Most ponds and lakes still exist today, and Ball Ground still has a predominantly agriculture-based economy.
The community was incorporated on January 1, 1882, the same year that the railroad came through. Before that date, the community consisted of two country stores and a few dwellings. After the railroad's arrival, the town grew as a result of the marble-working industry.
2.5 miles (4.0 km) to the east of the town, near the confluence of Long Swamp Creek and the Etowah River, is the traditional site of the Battle of Taliwa, the most decisive battle of the war between Cherokee and Creek Indians in the 18th century. Cherokee history tells that the conflict over territory was determined by a stickball game here.
On September 5, 2011, due to Tropical Storm Lee, an EF1 tornado caused damage throughout the city's business and residential areas. No deaths or serious injuries were reported. Striking much of Cherokee County, including Woodstock, Holly Springs and Canton, the storms cut a 24-mile (39 km) path. Electricity was restored after two days, and residents continued clean-up for numerous days.
In 2015, Tom Cruise filmed a movie in Ball Ground. The movie, originally titled "Mena," changed its name to "American Made" following controversy. The Holcomb house, among others, can be seen in the background of the film. The movie is to be released Sept. 29, 2017, nine months after its originally planned release date. American Made is film about Barry Seal, played by Tom Cruise. Seal was a real-life american hustler, drug dealer, and pilot who was later recruited by the CIA in a huge covert operation.
Ball Ground is located in northeastern Cherokee County, just north of Canton and south of Nelson. Ball Ground is along Interstate 575, with access from Exit 27, 4 miles (6 km) south of the highway's northern terminus, and 48 miles (77 km) north of Atlanta.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.8 square miles (15.1 km2), of which 0.031 square miles (0.08 km2), or 0.50%, is water. The city's elevation averages around 1,100 feet (340 m) above sea level, ranging from just over 1,000 feet (300 m) in the valleys to around 1,200 feet (370 m) on several hilltops within the city.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,433 people, 601 households, and 532 families residing in the city. The population density was 589.1 people per square mile (227.3/km²). There were 601 housing units at an average density of 92.8 persons/km² (240.5 persons/sq mi). The racial makeup of the city was 97.4% White, 0.7% African American, and 0.3% Asian. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.5% of the population.
There were 601 households out of which 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.3% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.0% were non-families. 20.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 2.69.
In the city, the population is spread out with 27.3% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 25.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 108.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $45,875, and the median income for a family was $51,429. Males had a median income of $39,125 versus $27,361 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,147. About 6.7% of families and 12.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.2% of those under age 18 and 12.5% of those age 65 or over.
Average house value in Ball Ground area is $157,923.22. Average yearly wages paid by businesses in Ball Ground area is $31,227.00. Average number of people employed by businesses in Ball Ground area is 10.1.
In the 21st century, Ball Ground is growing as businesses and homeowners are pushing into the North Georgia mountains along the I-575 corridor. It boasts a number of new subdivisions and light industry.
The Cherokee County Airport is located between Ball Ground and Canton.
Interstate 575 goes through Cobb and Cherokee counties and ends just north of Ball Ground.