Rich in Civil War era history and Southern tradition, Downtown Kennesaw-a Preserve America community- is situated in bustling north central Cobb County, Georgia-about 35 minutes Northwest of Atlanta. Offering “old town” charm and southern hospitality, downtown Kennesaw is revitalizing and sustaining its position as a quaint portal to Cobb County’s cultural, historic and natural resources.
With its brick walkways, antique and specialty shops, restaurants, and small town allure, visitors will immediately sense downtown Kennesaw’s “authenticity,” “uniqueness,” and commitment to community pride and historical heritage. Moreover, downtown Kennesaw’s “walking-friendly” size, new streetscapes, and added parking, offer visitors and residents easy access to additional nearby attractions and city amenities, like Swift-Cantrell Park, Adams Park, and The Kennesaw Welcome Center-known as The Depot, because the 1908 building is a restored Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway Station.
Located in the heart of downtown Kennesaw, The Depot is a part of a walking tour that includes several antebellum structures tucked around new cluster home communities and revitalized turn-of-the-century office structures. Visitors and residents to The Depot can view a series of historical storyboard exhibits, and a collection of artifacts and photographs, focusing on the history of Kennesaw and the Civil War-including stoneware, bullets, arrow heads, and Confederate and Union officer uniform buttons.
In addition, “The Big Spring of Water” a small creek-named to the National Register of Historic Places–where in the Confederate soldiers drilled for water, is located in a small wooded park behind City Hall.
Also located in downtown Kennesaw, is the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, homage to the preservation of much of the history of the fierce Civil War battles fought in the Kennesaw and Kennesaw Mountain area between the Yankee and Confederate Troops. This 40,000 sq. ft.museum also houses the infamous iron horse, the General-a steam locomotive hijacked by Yankee soldiers in what was later referred to as the Great Locomotive Chase and a critical move in ending the Civil War.
The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History is also the center of activity surrounding Kennesaw’s annual Big Shanty Festival in mid April. This free, fun-filled event is a tribute to the heritage of Kennesaw and the Civil War era. Over 50,000 people fill the downtown Kennesaw to enjoy a day full of fun-filled activities at one of the largest Arts & Craft Shows in north Georgia.
Downtown Kennesaw also hosts the Main Street Farmers Market, Folk Tales of the Rails, Kennesaw’s Pigs & Peaches BBQ Festival, The Santa Parade & A Day with Santa, and free summer concerts and movies-all popular draws for residents and visitors to this charming historic alcove of vibrant “small town charm”.
Directions: Take 1-75 N to exit 273 for Wade Green R. Turn left at Wade Green Rd. NW. Go .03 miles. Continue on Cherokee St NW for 2.3 miles