One of the most exciting things in Acworth’s future? Its history.
A lot of folks say that visiting Acworth feels like taking a step back in time, and not just because of the friendly neighbors and relaxed, slowed-down pace. From the town’s 19th-century churches to its stately antebellum homes and pre-Civil War cemeteries, this city is steeped in centuries of rich history — in fact, Acworth was the second city to be founded in all of Cobb County, preceded only by Marietta. There’s a lot of history here, and a lot of stories to be told. And this spring, those stories will come to life at a brand-new destination on the corner of Main and Lemon streets: Depot Park.
Like most Southern railroad towns, Acworth’s Main Street train depot was once the bustling heartbeat of this city. Depot Park is an architectural replica of the original railroad depot which, for decades, brought commerce into town, sent families off on their travels, and returned soldiers home from war. The story of the Depot itself was nearly lost to history, until a passionate and dedicated group of Acworth citizens rallied to save it. (Stay tuned for more of their inspiring story.)
EXPERIENCE HISTORY THROUGH HI-TECH
But the structure of the Depot itself is just the beginning. Inside the replica train depot is a treasure trove of archival materials and stories for history buffs of all ages. Visitors experience Acworth history brought to life by none other than our residents themselves, in more than 30 oral history videos of long-time Acworth residents telling stories and reminiscing about their lives, their families, and their hometown.
The Depot also houses a series of videos, professionally produced in partnership with the Save Acworth History Foundation, that chronicle the story of Acworth itself. Visitors can peruse thousands of archival images collected by residents, which encompass decades of history and change: a fascinating and poignant glimpse into the ways the city has both grown and preserved its own legacy over the centuries, from Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign to ballgames and speed boat races on Lake Acworth in the ‘50s and ‘60s. The facility is open from 8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. every day and free to the public. For those spending the day in Acworth for the first time, Depot Park serves as a hub for visitors with tips for all the other wonderful ways to explore and experience this special town, from its other parks to its dining scene and upcoming events.
TAKE A STROLL IN DOWNTOWN
The history center inside Depot Park is a treasure trove of fun and curiosity for families, too. Spend some time looking at 150-year-old photos of Main Street, then take a stroll through downtown with your family. Can you spot how many things have changed, and how many things still look the same? Nowadays, you probably won’t see the horse-drawn carriages or Ford Model T’s (unless you’re here during the classic car show), but otherwise, much of Acworth might look pretty strikingly similar to some of those black-and-white photos. That’s pretty special.
Published March 2019.