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Area History

  Area history about Ellijay and Gilmer County  

The year was 1832 and it was a cold, brisk December 3rd. A portion of Cherokee County had just been divided to form a new county; this new county, Gilmer. 24 years later, in 1856 a portion of Union County was added to form the now 427 square miles that make up beautiful Gilmer County Georgia.
Two years after Gilmer County was formed, Ellijay became the county seat for government. Ellijay lies where two rivers, the Ellijay and the Cartecay, come together to form the Coosawattee river. It is at this point that the Coosawatte River begins its run to Carters Lake, which is home to the largest rock dam east of the Mississippi River. The 3200 acre lake is open to many recreational opportunities.

Named for George R. Gilmer, former U.S. House representative and governor of Georgia, our county is bordered by Pickens to the south, Fannin to the north, Dawson and Fannin to the east, and Gordon and Murray counties to the west. The 2004 Georgia census puts Gilmer County’s population at over 26,000 though for most of us, we know that now, in 2006, that number is much higher.

Nearly half of Gilmer County’s territory is located within the boundaries of the Chattahoochee National Forrest. The beginning (or end, depending on where you start) of the Appalachian Trail (AT) is located right here in Gilmer County high atop Springer Mountain. Gilmer County is also home to Rich Mountain, the fourth tallest peak in the state at 4,081ft.

There are many smaller communities in Gilmer County that thrive on down home courtesy. Boardtown, Cherry Log, New Hope, and Tails Creek are but a few. The Georgia Apple Festival, celebrated the second and third weekends of October, brings many visitors to our county and with picturesque views, many forests, lakes, streams and rivers, it is no wonder that Gilmer County has become such a popular vacation and residential destination for so many in recent years.


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