Elijay is a beautiful mountain town located in Glimer County in the Blue Ridge Mountain region of Ga.at: Latitude: N. 34.694656 Longitude: 84.483566. The county is located in North, North West Georgia.
Elijay has a very long and meaningful history, dating back to before the Indian removal act. The land forms and geography have also influenced the history and the culture of the people that have and once resided in the region.
For insistence, geographically, the mountains that surrounded Elijay played a huge role in keeping a section of the Cherokee Indians secluded from European influence, allowing the tribe members to continued to speak their Native language and maintain traditional Cherokee gender roles, economies, and beliefs for a longer period of time.
In 1912, a fire ripped through Eijay he city, destroying numerous buildings. After the fire, during the '20's the population began to grow once again. This time orchards began to be planted and apples being shipped out of the town. Chickens also became a meaningful export.
Between the 1930’s to 1950, Ellijay received aid from the Federal WPA Programs.
The funds allowed for improvements on roads, bridges, and sidewalks .
During the 1950's and 1960's, the new improvements and grow started to influence the the city’s infrastructure . The "upgrading of water systems, roads, and power supplies began. New low-rent housing appeared in l960 and a new hospital was built in l957. Georgia Highway 5 was widened in l962, new buildings around the square replaced old ones and some were remodeled. In 1974, the hospital was enlarged."
All of these factors contributed to making the city more desirable to live, increasing the town's population. The town's geographic location has it's advantages and disadvantages. The fluctuating weather can reek havoc on a city's infrastructure and require more upkeep. However, the mild weather and fertile land are ideal to raise apple orchards. The improved infrastructure and valuable exports permitted the town to weather the years.
How's It Feeling Up There?
The temperature in Elijay during the warmer months are typically humid and warm. The weather is usually mild. However early and late frosts in the
Spring and Autumn are not unheard of. The weather often varies from one day to the next during these months as well.
Given the elevation of the city, it is not uncommon for the city to experience snow, average of 4-6 inches.
Oh, You live here too?
The mountains that surround Eljiay play host to tremendous variety of native wildlife ranging from: white tail deer and rabbits to black bear and the eastern cougar.
Also, the mountain climate affords for some unique plant life to thrive. Mountain laurels and Rhododendrons.
There are local animal sanctuaries that offer a wide variety of classes and workshops that help educate students in areas such as: "Edible Plant Recognition", " Wildlife Identification & Rehabilitation", " Forest Life" and many more.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources also provides educational programs that aid in enlightening individuals on specific Georgia regions.
Just a drop!
Elijay's human and animal population is supported by the Cartecay and Ellijay rivers. The flow through downtown Ellijay. The Converge to create the Coosawattee River, as well. The land is also riddled with mountain streams that help support the animal and lush plant populations.
These streams and rivers are not always calm an serene. There are numerous waterfalls that are fed by these waterways.
Below is a photo of Julie Anna Falls, one of the more notable waterfalls near Elijay, Ga.
Move it around!
When people think of the flow and movement of ideas, in this day and age, the first thought we have is the internet. It is true, that information and ideas zip back and forth on invisible waves lengths that cover the earth, and some planets.
But there are still unique and special times were a community works together, where guests travel to share, culture, knowledge, experiences. Places like Elijay provide a setting for such times.
This small town depends largely on tourism. The area's natural endowments( landscapes, wildlife, and waterways) provide enticing hiking, rafting, and fishing opportunities.
Hiking Trail: Springer Mountain
Apple of Our Eye
As if the natural isn't enough, Elijay hosts one of the biggest festivals in the region.
The Georgia Apple Festival
The Georgia Apple Festival is a huge event that draws hundreds upon hundreds of visitors each year.
From Apple pies to quilting, camel rides, and balloons, this is an event with a little something for everyone.
It occurs during the month of October, when the local orchards open their gates and allow individuals and family the apple picking experience of the year.
However, the tourists looking for, well, apple everything, are not the only people drawn to celebration and apple orchards. This event attracts vendors from all around the region!
The town also has fresh farmers markets and pumpkin patches.
So, we have people moving from here in town, to there in town, in the rivers, through the woods; but, there a problem. Visitors, even members of the community are not often conscious of their surroundings. Elijay is a gorgeous homey town. It's scenery is breathtaking, events engaging. Why would people not want to visit, even plant roots in the quiet little place?
Well, they do. And with the increased human presence in the environment affords a higher likelihood of pollution: air( increased number of cars), light, noise, and litter. A family caravan of numerous gasoline burning vehicles trekking in the the valley, exhaust spilling into the air. Hikers leaving wrappers, fishermen and hunters poaching, all of these and more affect the ecology and environment of the land surrounding this town. Also, for those that have fallen for the town's charms, the land is at risk of being altered to fit our needs: increased number of houses, lawns, schools, restaurants, ects, that are built to accommodate the growing number of people.
So, these events may influence the movement of the wildlife as well. Bear coming down from the mountains for a sweet snack a camper left behind. Wildlife within the city move away from the increased noise and air pollution.
Now, with the increase of these risks, some institutions have sought to educate the children and adults of the community and visitors. The Georgia DNR and local offices offer programs to educate individuals on how they should interact with the environment in a respectful manner.
The way visitors, locals, and the environment interact within this concentrated area. Knowledge and ideas are always in motion.
The Neighborly Thing.
Elijay's population is ever going in 2012 there were approximately 1,630 (81% urban, 19% rural), a +2.9% increase since 2000.
Currently the gender diversity is slightly skewed towards females, approximately: Males 674 (41.4%)Females: 956 (58.6%)
The racial diversity it predominately Caucasian.
Religion is a large part of a community. In this community the religion is predominantly Christian based, Baptist and Methodist. However, 20% of the recorded population identifies as "other.
Apples to Apples.....
Elijay to Georgia
"Ellijay compared to Georgia state average:
- Median household income below state average.
- Unemployed percentage below state average.
- Black race population percentage significantly below state average.
- Hispanic race population percentage significantly above state average.
- Foreign-born population percentage significantly above state average.
- Renting percentage above state average.
- Length of stay since moving in significantly above state average..."
- "The number of natural disasters in Gilmer County (7) is smaller than the US average (12)."