HISTORIC PRESERVATION:

Cherokee County Historical Society



   Woodstock Depot

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Woodstock DepotThe Woodstock Depot is located in downtown Woodstock, GA along the railroad track. It is fairly typical railroad depot architecture from the Victorian era, as found in North Georgia.

 

Architecture
The Depot is a one-story wood frame building with exterior weatherboard and tongue-and-groove siding. The roof is red clay tile, hipped over the passenger area and gabled over the freight area with a decorative ridge and a hip knob. There are two gable dormers with half moon vents. The passenger area has two entrances on the west side, of which the southern most was originally designated for blacks. The two areas in the building, the freight office on the north side and passenger/ticketing (or freight clerk's office) on the south side, are reflected in the changing roof design and symmetrical to asymmetrical floor plan. The ticket window between ticketing and passenger areas still survives.

 

History
The Depot is historically significant because it was built in 1912 by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad as a replacement depot for a small town, and it served the many needs of the citizens for both shipping and receiving freight--including agricultural products, as well as the arrival and departure of passengers for travel, work, attending schools, departing for military service, etc. Passenger service ended in 1949.

 

In earlier history of the railroad line, the Marietta & North Georgia Railroad completed its route from Marietta in Cobb County to Canton in Cherokee County in 1879. Thus, the line came through Woodstock by 1879.

Attempts to establish a railroad for Cherokee County had been made as early as 1846 when the Etowah Railroad was chartered by the state legislature, but never built. In 1854 a second railroad obtained its charger from the legislature. This Ellijay Railroad was not built either, but in 1859 its name was changed to the Marietta, Canton & Ellijay Railroad. A state funding bill for it was subsequently introduced in the legislature. Unfortunately, the Civil War began in 1861 and all plans for the railroad were put on hold.

 

After the Civil War, interest in a railroad for Cherokee County was renewed. In 1870 the legislature authorized loan funding for the Marietta, Canton & Ellijay line. The railroad's name was again changed--this time to the Marietta & North Georgia Railroad. Local fundraising began, and in November of 1879, the railroad opened in Canton.

 

Presumably when the railroad first came through Woodstock, a depot was built. Woodstock was, at this time, well-developed, though unincorporated. The original depot may have been built as early as 1879, but the first written account of it is in 1897. In 1897, the City of Woodstock, with a population of 300, was incorporated and its limits were measured from the depot then in existence:

    "...limits of said town shall extend three-fourths of a mile north from the depot and three-fourts of a mile south from the depot, along the railroad track, and one-half mile in breadth on each side of railroad track, whole length of first line..."

In 1905, the M&NG Line was purchased by the L&N Line. The present Woodstock Depot was built in 1912 by the L&N Railroad to serve as a passenger and freight depot. The building was divided into a freight and passenger/ticketing area with a separate entrance and waiting room for blacks. This depot design was typical of the L&N pattern which the railroad used all along the line.

 

The depot was the focal point for transporting local items including cotton, rope, and other agricultural products. The depot was also used as commuter transit for students attending school in Canton and Marietta. The depot was manned by an agent and had a full-fledged service with telegraph until the late 1950s. Passenger service was terminated March 1, 1949.

 

Woodstock has had industries of various kinds. The first grist mills in the county were located nearby. Wool carding, yarn spinning and other related activities were also done. The abundance of water power streams facilitated the aforementioned industries.

 

Additionally, Woodstock has had considerable activity in mineral developments. The old Kellogg gold mine and several others are within a few miles of Woodstock. Mica and kaolin were also found.

 

Woodstock was mainly an agricultural town. By the 1890s Woodstock was said to be shipping 2,000 bales of cotton yearly. This figure was larger than shipments made by any town of comparable size in the area. A number of Woodstock's developers were influential in introducting innovative farming methods to the county.

Currently, the line is owned by the Georgia Northeastern Railroad Company, and freight service is still available on request. The depot is currently owned by the City of Woodstock, and the land is leased from the railroad. The depot is currently used as a community meeting place, having most recently been the city hall, police and fire station.


 
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