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Gu-Win

James P. Kaetz, Auburn University
Gu-Win is located largely in southwest Marion County with a small corner being located in northern Fayette County; Marion County is located in the northwest part of the state. Gu-Win has a mayor/city council form of government.
History
Gu-Win's unusual name is reportedly taken from a combination of two neighboring towns it lies between, Guin and Winfield. When first established, the community was known as Ear Gap and grew up along a railroad line. In the 1950s, citizens in nearby Guin sought to annex Ear Gap, but residents wanted to remain independent and decided to incorporate. Another source for the name origin comes from a theater located in the present-day town, the Gu-Win Drive-In Theater, which was owned by George Thornton. Thornton reportedly convinced locals to name the community Gu-Win after spending substantial money on a new marquee featuring the theater name. Thornton also was the first mayor of the town.
Demographics
According to 2020 Census estimates, Gu-Win recorded a population of 143. Of that number, 76.2 percent of respondents identified themselves as white,, 17.5 percent as Hispanic or Latino, 6.3 percent as two or more races, 3.5 percent as African American, and 2.1 percent as American Indian. The town's median household income was $32,813, and the per capita income was $18,401.
Employment
According to 2020 Census estimates, the workforce in Gu-Win was divided among the following industrial categories:
  • Manufacturing (55.2 percent)
  • Educational services, and health care and social assistance (10.4 percent)
  • Public administration (9.0 percent)
  • Information (7.5 percent)
  • Retail trade (6.0 percent)
  • Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (3.0 percent)
  • Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (3.0 percent)
  • Transportation and warehousing and utilities (3.0 percent)
  • Construction (1.5 percent)
  • Other services, except public administration (1.5 percent)
Education
Students in Gu-Win attend Marion County schools; no public schools are located within the town limits.
Transportation
U.S. Highway 43/ State Highway 118-171 bisects Gu-Win running northwest-southeast. The town lies just south of Interstate 22 that connects Memphis, Tennessee, and Birmingham, Jefferson County. The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company operates a rail line through the town.
Events and Places of Interest
The Gu-Win Drive-In Theater remains in operation, but it is now called the Blue Moon Drive-In Theater. The Auburn University Upper Coastal Plain Agricultural Research Center is southeast of Gu-Win. Sugar Creek runs through the southern tip of Gu-Win and is a popular spot for kayaking and fishing.

Additional Resources

Marion County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Marion County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2000.
Published:  November 30, 2016   |   Last updated:  January 24, 2023