By MEG HARKINS
WOODSTOCK, Ga. – The city of Woodstock’s business, financial and artistic growth over the past few years has brought a new vibrancy to the city as more people begin to call it home.
Founded in 1897, Woodstock was a small rural town that was just a stop on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. People were drawn to the area for its farmable land and growing train system that transported cotton, rope and agricultural products. However, over the last 10 years, Woodstock has experienced a great resurgence.
In 2007, Woodstock was named the 10th fastest growing suburb in America by Forbes Magazine, and the city only continues to grow.
“When we first moved here 23 years ago, it was a sleepy little town with very little reason to go downtown,” said long-time resident Maureen Murphy. “Now it is a lively gathering place with shops and restaurants and activities that foster a real sense of community.”
Main Street Woodstock features many new and unique businesses, including a restaurant in the old railroad depot, a tearoom and a store that sells handmade art and oddities. Main Street Woodstock is ranked highest in Georgia for new business openings with 179 new businesses and 1,291 jobs created.
In addition to new businesses, Woodstock also has a rising art scene with the upcoming transformation of the historic Reeves House into a cultural arts center that will house a theatre, art gallery, studio space and community gardens. The project is to be completed in December of 2015.
Siobhan Brumbelow, Education Manager at Elm Street Cultural Arts Center thinks the development of the arts will greatly benefit the community.
“It’s very exciting to see the community embracing Elm Street [Cultural Arts Center] and what we’re doing,” said Brumbelow. “Art enriches lives and we are so happy to be able to provide opportunities for enrichment for the people of Woodstock.”
The combination of unique businesses and expanding scene has drawn many more young students and families to Woodstock. One can always find college-aged students enjoying a latte at the Copper Coin.
“Woodstock seems to be geared toward a younger crowd with the cool stores, live music and an increased nightlife,” said Kennesaw State University student, Kelsey Schuler.
In addition to high school and college aged students, young families also enjoy what Woodstock has to offer. Monthly concerts and themed events such as “Super Hero Night” or “The Great Downtown Tailgate” provide opportunities for families to get out and enjoy music, food, and activities.
Woodstock also offers numerous housing opportunities including estate lots, condos, townhomes, apartments, and suburban homes. Woodstock was recently ranked the 4th best city in Georgia for home ownership, giving even more incentive for families and young professionals to make Woodstock their home.
This once rural agricultural community has experience a huge amount of growth over the years, expanding in the realms of business, housing, and the arts. The city has been bestowed numerous awards for its advancement, and it only continues to progress. As the city slogan suggests the people of Woodstock invite everyone to “Experience Woodstock.”
Residents seem happy with their area of living, and are even quick to voice their pride. “Woodstock is a welcoming, vital place that makes you proud to call it home,” said Murphy.