Five forks. Get it? (Stock image)

Actual Factual Gwinnett: What's a Five Forks-Trickum?

This is "Actual Factual Gwinnett," a regular column in which Tyler Estep answers reader questions about Gwinnett happenings and history. Read previous editions — like this one confirming the pending arrival of Gwinnett's first Cook Out — by clicking the hyperlinks at the bottom of this column, where you'll also find information for submitting your own questions. Enjoy!

Hello, friends. Today we attempt to answer a question that's apparently been bouncing around in y'all's little noggins for a while now.

Reader Melody R. (among several others) writes: "Forget Webb Gin House Road...where the heck did the name Five Forks-Trickum Road originate?"

Wonderful question — but one that only sort of has an answer.

First, for the unfamiliar: Five-Forks Trickum Road is a roughly 11-mile stretch of asphalt that runs from the Mountain Park/Lilburn area and up to Lawrenceville. In map form, it looks like this:

Simply beautiful. Now out with it! OK, OK. According to the Gwinnett Historical Society, the "Five Forks" part of the name surfaced around 1920 and comes from where Five Forks-Trickum meets Dogwood River and Oak roads near Lawrenceville. That intersection looks like this:

Wait...pretty sure that's only four "forks." Yeah, I know, but...there used to be five. The roads were reconfigured. Shrug emoji. Let's move on to the Trickum part.

Yes, let's. Sometime before the Civil War, a community named Trickum was created in the area of Rockbridge Road and what was then Old Stone Mountain Road. There was a war-related "cavalry raid" there in 1864, the aforementioned historical society says. The area is now (generally speaking) known as Mountain Park. 

»MORE: 17 oddly names Gwinnett towns that no longer exist

»MORE: The name of every Gwinnett County city, explained

Fabulous...but what's a Trickum? Well, Melody...no one really knows anymore!

Quoth Jim Nicholls of the historical society:

"There is no answer. The Trickum community dates back prior to 1864 but because of the courthouse fire [in 1871] there are no land records. We do, however, know that there were no families by that name in Gwinnett. The name also exists in several other locations ... but I don't know if they know origins either."

The "Trickum" entry in Kenneth Krakwow's venerable 1975 book "Georgia Place Names" does briefly reference Gwinnett, as well as other like-named areas in Carroll, Whitfield and Walker counties.

The blurb about Walker is the most thorough (and interesting): "A community in the southeast section of the county, originally called Graysville after a store owner by the name of Gray, who allegedly tricked and swindled customers in his dealings. It was said he once swindled a drunk out of twenty dollars."

He tricked him. Tricked 'em. Trickum. Get it?

So, what you're saying is maybe there was a drunk-swindling shopowner in Gwinnett, too? Maybe, Melody. Just maybe.

We all can dream.

I, Tyler Estep, am a staff writer with the AJC and a Gwinnett County native. To submit “Actual Factual Gwinnett” questions, contact me at tyler.estep@coxinc.com, @ByTylerEstep on Twitter or via the form below.


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