The History of the City of Woodstock
The City of Woodstock, located in southernmost Cherokee County, is now one of the fastest growing cities in North Georgia. Her future looks bright, backed by a past glowing with the richness of a well-preserved history.
Cherokee County was formed in December 1831 from lands claimed from the Cherokee and Creek Indians. The discovery of a 10-mile wide gold belt in these parts led to the Georgia Gold Rush. During this time an estimated 3000 men came to the area searching for gold. Joined by their families, they settled into communities that were largely self-sufficient and self-contained. With the Indians relocated to present-day Oklahoma on the infamous Trail of Tears, the territory was open for mining and agriculture, especially of cotton and corn. The rush of settlers to the fertile rolling hills of Cherokee County led to the establishment of cities.
It is uncertain where Woodstock derived its name, but it is widely accepted that the city was named for Sir Walter Scott's book by the same title. Another theory suggests a connection to the busy train stop established; the trains restocked their wood supply in Woodstock. Yet another legend claims a Mr. Woodstock settled in the area and established a school by the same name. Regardless of its true origin, the name of Woodstock has been recognized since 1833, almost 175 years!
In the early years, most of the settlers in the Woodstock and Canton vicinity grew cotton, benefiting from the rich, fertile soil. The Rope Mill produced cotton ropes that were used for plow lines and well-water buckets. The Rope Mill and the first gristmills were powered by water flowing through Little River, Noonday Creek, and the Etowah River.
The Marietta and North Georgia Railroad built a depot in Woodstock in 1879 as a stopping point on the line between Marietta and Canton. At that time, Woodstock had a population near 300 spread over 960 acres. The City of Woodstock was incorporated into the State of Georgia in 1897. The current depot, located in historic downtown Woodstock, was built in 1912 to function as a passenger and freight depot. The depot also served as a center of commerce for local items such as rope, cotton, and other agricultural goods. The depot has since been used as a fire station, city hall, community center, and is currently the home for the Downtown Development Association.
The Woodstock Academy, another early Woodstock institution, was established in 1880. This was the first school in Woodstock, built near Main Street and present-day Towne Lake Parkway. Students attended the school for $1.50 to $3.00 monthly, used outhouses, and kept their mules in the neighbor's barn! The present-day "granddaughter" of Woodstock Academy is Woodstock Elementary School, located just blocks from the original site.
The end of the 19th century through the 1920s saw the development of downtown Woodstock as a commercial center for southern Cherokee County. The Dean's Store was established in 1906 and operated as the city’s general store for 75 years. It remains in the Dean family as the Woodstock Visitors Center. Stop in The Dean’s Store, "where yesterday lives and tomorrow waits," for directions, information, or a visit with life-long residents of Woodstock.
Even in the early 20th century, Woodstock fostered an attitude of modern development that persists today. 1925 saw the first automobile in Cherokee County and the first street lights installed in Woodstock's business district. In 1929 the City of Woodstock paved Main Street with concrete, making an 18-foot roadway. The layout of historic downtown Woodstock today remains much the same as it was in the 1920s.
Through the 1930s and 1940s, the poultry market developed into a thriving industry, greatly helping Woodstock's agrarian economy. Lake Allatoona was created in 1951 when Georgia Power Company constructed a dam on the Etowah River. This 12,000-acre man-made lake is now a center for recreational activities in North Georgia.
The early 1960s saw the development of the first subdivision in Woodstock, Cherokee Forest, just south of Highway 92. Highway 92 became the major thoroughfare through Woodstock after it was paved in 1963. Fewer than 20 years later, Interstate-575 was opened, connecting Woodstock to greater Metro Atlanta. Highway 92 intersects I-575 in the heart of Woodstock, a location that seen great commercial development in the past 10 years. As well, downtown Woodstock is currently being developed and revitalized to celebrate the city's rich history. These developments, among others, have led to a steadily increasing population, job market, and available professional services. Countless possibilities await those who live, work and play in the City of Woodstock, Cherokee County, and greater Metro Atlanta.
With a rich history of progress and prosperity, Woodstock continues to be a benchmark for growth in North Georgia. Would you like to become part of the promising future of Woodstock, Georgia? Please contact us for more Woodstock Georgia Real Estate information and any questions about Woodstock, Cherokee County, and greater Metro Atlanta real estate!