What's In A Name | Five Forks Trickum Road

Jul 24, 2018

Five Forks Trickum Road is one of Atlanta's most interesting names. At the request of listeners Shannon Dupont and Sam Burnham, we unpack the road's curious origins. 


The road originally connected the Five Forks intersection with the Trickum community in Decatur.

The Gwinnett Historical Society says the name Five Forks comes from where Dogwood, River and Oak roads intersect Five Forks-Trickum Road between Lilburn and Lawrenceville. We assume there was originally another road involved in the junction, but the identity of the fifth fork remains a mystery. 

The Trickum part is a bit trickier to track down. 

 

The Five Forks intersection today. Where do you think the fifth fork went?
Credit Google Maps

In the mid-1800s, the community of Trickum was near Five Forks. It was the site of a cavalry raid during the Civil War. Not much else is known about it. All local records were lost in an 1871 courthouse fire. The neighborhood no longer exists today, but you can still see reminders of it in the Lawrenceville shopping centers and residential areas that bear the Trickum name.

Georgia actually has several Trickums of unknown origins. There are four places in the state called Trickum (one is spelled Tricum), but historians can't pinpoint a reason for the name. 

Some credit stories of crooked businessmen. They think Georgians named their communities after people who tricked 'em, perhaps as a sort of warning to future residents. Historian Kenneth Krakow tells the story of a town named for a store owner who allegedly swindled a drunk customer out of $20. Doesn't sound like much? That's worth more than $500 in today's money.

Click here to find more stories behind curious Atlanta names from our summer 2018 series "What's In A Name?" on 88.5 GPB Atlanta’s All Things Considered.

The entry for Trickum in Kenneth Krakow's book Georgia Place-Names.
Credit Kenneth Krakow