The Appalachian mountains are a backdrop for sprawl east of Canton
New tract housing in South Canton
Shopping and Parking just off of Interstate 575
But, as I said, not all change is bad. The city of Woodstock, about ten miles south of Canton, for many years was the second largest city in Cherokee County. With increasing suburbanization Woodstock's proximity to Atlanta caused it to surpass Canton in population. But even in the midst of the sprawlscape, a ray of hope can be seen. Centered on the old Woodstock train station on Main Street, is a new new-urbanist development. Hedgewood Properties is developing a mix of lofts, offices, and shops. The development will complement Woodstock's Main Street businesses and is adjacent to a proposed commuter rail station on the Atlanta-Marietta-Canton line. While the state has yet to fund even the first leg of Georgia's commuter rail program, this development makes the Canton line's construction even more likely.
Historic Main Street in Woodstock
The central park in Downtown Woodstock
The old Woodstock railroad station and Hedgewood redevelopment
Main Street, old and new
At any rate, on the eve of my return to Maryland, I have mixed feelings about the change that my four months of absence has wrought on Cherokee County. On the one hand, I am hopeful because of the downtown redevelopments under construction in Canton and Woodstock. And I am also disappointed in the continued reliance on sprawl to increase the tax base of the local governments here. I also wonder what my hometown will look like when I next return.