East Ellijay is a city in Gilmer County, Georgia, United States. The population was 707 at the 2000 census. As its name suggests, it is just east of Ellijay, Georgia, the site of a Cherokee settlement, one of several with the name. In Cherokee the name is properly rendered "Elatseyi" (abbreviated to "Elatse"), which can be translated as "green verdant earth", suggesting fresh-springing vegetation. It was variously spelled Ellijay, Elejoy, and Allagae. In addition to the Cherokee town in Georgia, there were Cherokee towns of this name on, one, the Keowee River in South Carolina, two, on the Little Tennessee River at Ellijay Creek, and three, on Ellejoy Creek of the Little River near present-day Maryville, Tennessee. East Ellijay was originally the location of Fort Hetzel, one of the Cherokee removal forts built in 1838 to house the Cherokee people before sending them on the "Trail of Tears".