WELCOME TO ELLIJAY & GILMER COUNTY
"The Apple Capital"
Gilmer County is home to over 15,000 smiling faces who enjoy the beauty and tranquility of a mountain home. Nature abounds here with mountain peaks, rushing rivers cascading over rock bottoms, orchards of apple trees and fields of wild flowers. Surrounded by 23,000+ acres of the Chattahoochee National Forest, two wildlife management areas, two state parks and the beginning of the Appalachian Trail, Gilmer County ranks next to the Garden of Eden in scenic beauty.
Rich mountain has the fourth highest elevation in the state at 4081 feet. There are rivers for trout fishing, canoeing and kayaking. Carter's lake offers boating, swimming, waterskiing and sunbathing. Miles of hiking trails snake through the mountainous countryside. Whether you are looking for high adventure or just simply relaxing you can find it all in Gilmer County.
A recreation complex is located on the banks of the Coosawattee River with lighted tennis courts and ball fields. A civic center with dining hall is nearby and the area is home to an 18 hole public golf course. The needs of every shopper can be met by visiting Ellijay's many specialty shops.
Many churches are present in Gilmer County and the following denominations are represented: Baptist, Catholic, Church of Christ, Church of God, Episcopal, Jehovah's Witnesses, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Lutheran, Seventh Day Adventist, United Methodist and others.
Ellijay and Gilmer County offer one of the most affordable housing markets found anywhere in the southeast. A pleasing blend of older historic homes, traditional log homes and new contemporary designs offer a varied selection for the homebuyer. Whatever your lifestyle or requirements, Ellijay and Gilmer County have a diversified mix to suit the tastes of the new resident. A home guide magazine is available at Mountain-Aire Realty.
The Ellijay area is served by several hospitals, physicians, health care professionals and nursing homes to meet the health care needs of its residents.
The Gilmer County library has over 20,000 volumes, audio-visual equipment, genealogy materials and microfilms. An excellent public school system serves the area and three colleges and a vocational school are within 50 miles of Ellijay.
The Cherokee Indians were the inhabitants of Gilmer County until white settlers arrived. Gilmer County was created from part of Cherokee County on December 3, 1832. The County was named for George R. Gilmer, a governor of Georgia, who was credited with forcing the Cherokee Indians out of Georgia along with President Andrew Jackson. At this period in history the Cherokees were living in log homes and farming the land. The Cherokee chief, Sequoyah, developed a written language which led to formal government, a written constitution, publication of a Cherokee newspaper and the spread of Christianity.
White settlers greed for land and gold led to the Cherokee removal on the "Trail of Tears" in 1838. Even though the Supreme Court upheld the right of the Cherokee people to own land, President Jackson ordered their removal.
In 1834, Ellijay was established as the county seat. The name "Ellijay" came from the Cherokee and means "many waters," referring to the Ellijay and Cartecay jRivers that come together at Ellijay to form the Coosawattee River.
Sanderstown, one mile north of Talking Rock was named for the Cherokee chief, George Sanders, who had an entertainment house there.
In 1976, Carter's Dam was built, which is the largest earth rock dam east of the Mississippi. This created the 3200 acre Carter's Lake. Walnut Mountain, Beaver Lake Estates and Blackberry Mountain are recent residential developments in Gilmer County..