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Gilmer County
About North Georgia

Name Derivation

Named for George Gilmer, who built the original Peachtree Road from Fort Daniels, Gwinnett County to Standing Peachtree, a Creek Indian settlement on the Chattahoochee River at the confluence with Peachtree Creek. Gilmer later served as a member of the US House and governor of the state of Georgia.

History

Most of Gilmer County's early history centered on the Moundbuilder site on the Coosawattee River now under Carters Lake. In 1541 Hernando deSoto visited the site and left abruptly after taking food and water.

Ellijay, now the seat of the Gilmer County Government, is probably a Cherokee Indian word and has many translations, but our favorite is "Green Place." In 1805 the Old Federal Road, running from Federal Crossing (Vann's Ferry) on the Chattahoochee River to Nashville, Tennessee crossed the Coosawattee River near the site of the mounds visited by deSoto.

Chief Whitepath was leader of the village when the first settlers began encroaching on Cherokee land in 1830. Almost all of Gilmer County was distributed as 160-acre lots in the 1832 Land Lottery. The remaining land was given away in the Gold Lottery of 1832, although by this time the Georgia Gold Rush was over.

Gilmer Still in 1905
By 1880 the county had developed multiple moonshine operations that were, by some accounts, the largest in the state.

More Information

Gilmer County, Georgia

County: Gilmer County
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