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

Five forks. Get it? (Stock image)
Five forks. Get it? (Stock image)

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:

ajc.com

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:

ajc.com

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.

Explore»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.