Quick background: Beaver Ruin Road is a road that runs (sort of) north-and-south between Buford Highway in Norcross and U.S. 29 in Lilburn. It crosses I-85 between Indian Trail-Lilburn Road and Steve Reynolds Boulevard. It generally looks like this, but even more congested:
Great, cool, awesome. Tell me about the name. According to a super-comprehensive book called "Georgia Place Names," written in the '70s by a history buff named Kenneth Krakow, there is a Beaver Ruin Creek in Clarke County – whose name indeed refers to "an extensive area which a colony of beavers had flooded and devastated with a network of dams." Buuuuut...
...the Beaver Ruin Creek that runs through Gwinnett County, which the road presumably gets its name from, has a wholly different origin. According to Krakow (and Hal Brinkley, who wrote another book that Krakow references throughout his own):
"This stream was named for a Cherokee, Beaver Toter, whose house and ferry were washed away during a flash flood."
Third-hand and a little folklore-y (and a potential timeframe is unclear), but there you have it. Beavers didn’t ruin anything – a poor Native American guy named Beaver was ruined.
Just like the traffic on his namesake road.
I, Tyler Estep, am a staff writer with the AJC and a Gwinnett County native. To submit “Actual Factual Gwinnett” questions, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, @ByTylerEstep on Twitter or via the form below.