The Woodstock Depot, built in 1912, is among some of the oldest buildings in historic downtown Woodstock, and is a local icon for the citizens. It presently sits in the heart of the recently revitalized downtown Woodstock area and currently serves the community as a popular restaurant known as Freight Kitchen and Tap. The single story, red clay structure lies directly next to Main Street and across from a wide array of shops and stores that still help stimulate the local economy today.
The first rail line to
come through Woodstock was the Marietta and North Georgia Railroad, which was
completed in 1879. Originally, a previous depot is believed to have been built
in the same year, but the first written account of it is not made until 1897 as
a stopping point between Marietta and Canton. During this time, Woodstock
was well-developed, but incorporated, relying mostly on agricultural means as a
way to sustain life and commerce. Cotton was a prime agricultural product in
the area and heavily manufactured by the local Rope Mill that supplied cotton
ropes that were used for plow lines or well-water buckets. In the 1890s,
it is said that Woodstock was shipping out 2,000 bales of cotton yearly, much
larger than other neighboring towns of similar size.
Later in 1905, the
Marietta and North Georgia Railroad was purchased by the Louisville and
Nashville Railroad and the current Woodstock Depot that stands today was built
in 1912 to serve as a passenger and freight depot. Once completed, the depot
was divided into areas for freight and passengers, among which were also
separate entrances and waiting rooms for blacks and whites. Many passengers
were also commuter students going between Marietta and Canton for school.
downtown Woodstock also began to occur in this period and started to include
modern tools of infrastructure, such as the installation of the first street
lights in 1925, and the concrete paving of Main Street in 1929. During the
1930s and 1940s, as local cotton production began to decline due to modern
industrialization, the poultry market rapidly increased in the area and allowed
many to still thrive in the region, as well as keeping the depot
active. Passenger services were cancelled, however, in 1949 and a full
developed telegraph service was available until the 1950s.
depot is now known as the Freight Kitchen and Tap restaurant and is renowned
for its locally crafted beers and traditional southern charm and food. The
restaurant has become extremely popular amongst the local crowd, and business
has dramatically grown due to recent revitalization efforts directed towards
the downtown Woodstock area. The rail line, which it still resides next to, is
owned by the Georgia Northeastern Railroad Company and the depot is owned by
the City of Woodstock; the land is leased to the city from the railroad.