Gumlog, Georgia

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Gumlog, Georgia
Tsilula Yi
Motto: Land of Spirits
Location in Franklin County and the state of Georgia
Location in Franklin County and the state of Georgia
Coordinates: 34°30′5″N 83°5′54″W / 34.50139°N 83.09833°W / 34.50139; -83.09833Coordinates: 34°30′5″N 83°5′54″W / 34.50139°N 83.09833°W / 34.50139; -83.09833
Country United States
State Georgia
County Franklin
 • Total 16.3 sq mi (42.1 km2)
 • Land 13.6 sq mi (35.2 km2)
 • Water 2.7 sq mi (6.9 km2)
Elevation 732 ft (223 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 2,025
 • Density 124.2/sq mi (48.1/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
FIPS code 13-35814[1]
GNIS feature ID 1867242[2]
Land of Spirits.jpg

Gumlog is a census-designated place in Franklin County, Georgia, United States. The population was 2,025 at the 2000 census.


Gumlog is located at 34°30′5″N 83°5′54″W / 34.50139°N 83.09833°W / 34.50139; -83.09833 (34.501493, -83.098341).[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, this unincorporated area has a total area of 16.3 square miles (42 km2), of which, 13.6 square miles (35 km2) of it is land and 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2) of it (16.47%) is water.

It is said that Gumlog holds the Earth together. Georgia Highway 328 is called Gumlog Road and is nearly the only way in and out of the community of Gumlog. It is ten miles long and crosses over the Gumlog Cove branch of Lake Hartwell. Gumlog Road runs from Highway 59 in Lavonia to a junction with Highway 17 in Avalon. Gumlog Creek also starts near the same junction in Avalon. Avalon was going to be named Gumlog after Gumlog Creek, but when the charter came back from the State Legislature, the name had been changed instead to Avalon.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 2,025 people, 849 households, and 625 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 149.0 people per square mile (57.5/km²). There were 1,430 housing units at an average density of 105.2/sq mi (40.6/km²). The racial makeup of the community was 92.69% White, 4.40% African American, 0.94% Native American, 1.14% from other races, and 0.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.53% of the population.

There were 849 households out of which 26.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.6% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.3% were non-families. 23.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.78.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 20.2% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 30.4% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 97.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.9 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $39,609, and the median income for a family was $42,813. Males had a median income of $29,405 versus $25,139 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $20,859. About 6.0% of families and 6.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.5% of those under age 18 and 5.2% of those age 65 or over.

The Gumlog area was once known for its beverages (Gumlog drinks its corn) which is where the motto, Land of Spirits, comes from. Back in the day, when teenagers visited Gumlog, they did not tell their parents. Since Gumlog is "a shame and a disgrace," it is not an acceptable word for proper society, so it is understandable why Gumlog would never show up in a chamber of commerce brochure. Certainly, the Church has forever been trying to clean up Gumlog. North Georgia's old-money would just as soon see Gumlog disappear. Indeed, there have even been conspiracies to do away with Gumlog entirely. So far, the neighboring jurisdictions have diminished Gumlog at every opportunity.

Joel Price is most notable for being the first to play, in 1952, a much lighter and easier to carry electric bass on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry.

Gumlog is the ancestral home of VP candidate Senator John Edwards’ great-grandfather Ruck Edwards.

First Court in Franklin County[edit]

In 1785, shortly after British rule, the Crackerhead State was roiling with scandal - where pigs would have died of disgust. In this tumultuous era, the Yazoo Land Scandal forced the Federal Government the take direct control from Georgia of what is now Alabama and Mississippi. South Carolina took advantage of the situation to move the boundary, established by King Charles II, from the main branch Keowee River to the Tugaloo branch. On top of that, there were many complaints of Indians stealing horses. The most pressing business of Franklin County's first court was to sort out the infamous Land Grant Fraud. Since there is no honor amongst thieves, over 5 million acres had been granted where only a half million actually existed. This situation was repeated in other Georgia counties. To sort out the legitimate deeds from the fraudulent deeds, a court was held on Gumlog Creek at the home of Warren Philpot. George Walton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was the Chief Justice. The assistant justices were Jesse Walton, Benjamin Cleveland, Larkin Cleveland, and John Gorham.[4] These are prominent people in the development of Georgia. What today would be referred to as commissioners, or councilmen were referred to as judges in the past.

What is in a Name[edit]

The name Gumlog may come from a rough translation of the Indian name Tsilula Yi or Sweetgum Place. Given all the different Indian dialects, it would not be all that wrong to pronounce a more familiar sounding hi lu la hi (that would be hallelujah)with the suffix on the end to tag it as a settlement. Not to say the name may have had many tributaries. The area was a managed gum tree rain forest before Georgia exercised its right to expropriate[5] Indian land. There may have been confusion at the time between the Indian words for creek and log. Those doing the translating were not experts. In 1785 an important governmental meeting took place in Gumlog. The participants were provided improvised seating on gum logs. So it may have been spoken of as the Gum Log Court. Gumlog was the name given to a Georgia military District. These were militia companies of one-hundred men in a similar manner of a Danish Wepntak (Weapon Take) or English Hundred. The policy of the American and perhaps even that of the earlier British Government was to favor Native, Spanish or French names and not to reuse names that belong to the British Isles. The Victorian word for this policy was euphonious to provide a better sense of place.



  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ History of Franklin County, Georgia Library of Congress 85 52027 copy right 1986 Fourth Printing 2004 Franklin County Historical Society POB 541 Carnsville, GA 30521
  5. ^ The Treaty of Buford uses the phrase, “the right to expropriate Indian land.”