Former Louisville and Nashville RailroadTrain Station in GA


Woodstock Depot, Woodstock Georgia
Front facade, passenger area entrance (1993)

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

It connected the people for business, travel and pleasure to the rest of the United States. The railroad depot was the hub of activity, where farmers sent their produce off, where the boys went off to war, and the lucky students off to a distant college. This depot linked this small north Georgia town, not even a county seat, to the state capital of Atlanta, the railroad hub of the state.

It had the minimal number of rooms; two passenger waiting rooms (due to racial divisions), a ticket office, and a freight room. The exterior of this depot had a few decorative ornaments, such as a hip knob and a ridge decoration, both because tile roofs lent themselves to such decorations for elements necessary to keep the roof in place.

Woodstock is located in the southern part of Cherokee County, thirty miles north of Atlanta, and twelve miles south of Canton, the county seat. The southern part of Cherokee was settled first, due to its flatter topography and greater accessibility. Woodstock is one of the county's oldest towns.

The Marietta and North Georgia Railroad completed its route from Marietta (county seat of Cobb County) to Canton (county seat of Cherokee County) in 1879. Thus it 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 charter from the legislature. This "Ellijay Railroad" was not built either but in 1859 its name was changed to the "Marietta, Canton and Ellijay Railroad" and a state funding bill for it was 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, and Ellijay line. The railroad's name was again changed, its new name being the "Marietta and North Georgia Railroad." Local fundraising began and in November of 1879, the railroad opened in Canton, the county seat.

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-fourths 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 Marietta and North Georgia Line was purchased by the Louisville & Nashville Line. The present Woodstock Depot was built in 1912 by the Louisville & Nashville (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 a typical 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 1950's. Passenger service was terminated on March 1st, 1949.

Woodstock has had industries of various kinds. The first gristmills 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.

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 introducing innovative farming methods to the county.

Woodstock has continued to develop over the years and has become the fastest growing city in Cherokee County.

The line is currently owned by the Georgia Northeastern Railroad Co., Inc., 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.

Building Description

The Woodstock Depot is located in downtown Woodstock along the railroad track. It is fairly typical railroad depot architecture, from the Victorian era, as found in North Georgia. The depot is divided into passenger/ticketing and freight areas.

The depot is a one-story, frame building with exterior wood weatherboard and tongue-and-groove siding. The wood alternates in three bands: foundation to window sill, vertical tongue-and-groove; window or middle row, horizontal weatherboard; and window head to eave, vertical tongue-and-groove. On the gable end at the rear of the depot, it has an additional row of horizontal weatherboarding above the eave band continuing from the remainder of the building.

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, one each on the south and west sides of the hipped roof. There is a single interior chimney on the east side of the hip ridge, and wide overhanging eaves supported by large carved open brackets. There are eleven 4/4 double-hung sash windows in the passenger/ticketing area, six of which are paired. The passenger area has two entrances on the west side, the southernmost originally designated for blacks. The ticketing area has two entrances, east and west respectively, which are single doors that are multipaneled with a two-pane transom. The freight area has four freight doors, two each on the east and west sides and two regular doors on the east and west sides; one of the regular doors is an original and the other is a newly added single door with sidelights, and both have four-paned transoms.

The two areas in the building, the freight area 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 ticketing area has been altered by the addition of a restroom.

Other changes include the freight area's entire re-paneling (1987); passenger/ticket area has tongue-and-groove panels that is vertical to the chair rail horizontal to the window head, and vertical from head to ceiling. The ceiling is also tongue-and-groove.

The ticket window between the ticketing and passenger areas still survives.

The depot was built with a wood-frame or balloon structure.

There are no visible historical mechanical systems. The electric lighting, gas heat, and indoor plumbing systems have all been added to the building in recent times.

The grounds have no designed landscape, no outbuildings, and there is limited grass area. Georgia Highway 5 (North Main St.) and the railroad tracks parallel the depot on one side while Main Street parallels the other as shown on the plat.

The depot is set in downtown Woodstock, in an area that once contained cotton warehouses. The west side of the building faces the historic commercial district while the east side faces a mixed residential and commercial area.

In 1967 a restroom was established in the ticket area. In 1987 weatherboarding (paneling) was installed in the freight area. A seating deck has been added to the west side on the original freight platform. The tile roof was repaired and broken tiles were replaced, where needed, in recent years.

Woodstock Depot, Woodstock Georgia Front facade, passenger area entrance (1993)
Front facade, passenger area entrance (1993)

Woodstock Depot, Woodstock Georgia Front facade, passenger area entrance (1993)
Front facade, passenger area entrance (1993)

Woodstock Depot, Woodstock Georgia Front facade, ticket entrance (1993)
Front facade, ticket entrance (1993)

Woodstock Depot, Woodstock Georgia Rear facade, freight area (1993)
Rear facade, freight area (1993)

Woodstock Depot, Woodstock Georgia Ticket area with window into passenger area (1993)
Ticket area with window into passenger area (1993)

Woodstock Depot, Woodstock Georgia Passenger area (1993)
Passenger area (1993)

Woodstock Depot, Woodstock Georgia Freight area (1993)
Freight area (1993)

Woodstock Depot, Woodstock Georgia Freight area (1993)
Freight area (1993)