In 2001, the City of Kennesaw and the Kennesaw Historic Preservation Commission completed a five-month, $150,000 City-funded interior restoration of the historic railroad Depot in downtown. The Depot was constructed in 1908 by the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railroad and originally was used as a freight and passenger Depot. In the early 1920s, two passenger waiting rooms were added to the north end of the Depot. In 1998, with the use of a Georgia Department of Transportation TEA (Transportation Enhancement Activity) grant, the City restored the exterior of the building that is now used as a Welcome Center and centerpiece and stage for City sponsored special events and other activities throughout the year.
The interior of the Depot had fallen into disrepair and had been closed since 1998. The $150,000 restoration project focused on the interior of the railroad Depot. Aspects of the renovation included stabilization of the foundation, replacement of rotten floor joists and beams, restoration of tongue and groove interior floor and walls, installation of period light fixtures, installation of new mechanical, plumbing, and electrical equipment and authentic restoration of doors and windows.
The Depot is currently used to house museum exhibits, a collection of artifacts, and photographs relating to the history of Kennesaw. All exhibits were designed and fabricated by Murphy & Orr Exhibits of Forrest Park, Georgia. The exhibits focus on the history of Kennesaw. Story boards include a timeline highlighting historically significant events in the community's history, a history of the Depot, a history of how the community was named, African-Americans in Kennesaw, the Civil War in Kennesaw, Kennesaw 1900-1930, Kennesaw 1930-1950, and Kennesaw 1950 - present. In addition, an exhibit housing artifacts relating to the history of Kennesaw and an exhibit housing artifacts unearthed during the archeological dig of the site of the historic Lacy Hotel (artifacts include stone ware, bullets from the Civil War, Confederate and Union officer uniform buttons, and arrow heads) have been developed.
Members of the Kennesaw Historic Preservation Commission were responsible for overseeing the interior restoration, working with the exhibit designer to develop the text for the story boards in the exhibits, selecting photographs and artifacts, and overseeing the installation of the exhibits. The intent of the exhibits is to give City residents and visitors a place to learn the history of their community and to complement the educational programs of the nearby Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History.
The Depot also operates limited hours (Tues/Fri/Sat, 10 am - 2 pm) serving as the City's Welcome Center. Brochures, maps and other informational pieces are available and volunteer staff can answer questions about the City.
Classes at Smith-Gilbert Gardens offer gardening pointers to adults & kids.
Kennesaws proud heritage is honored and remembered on the grounds of the City Cemetery.
Kennesaw Parks & Recreation will get you moving toward improved fitness and health.
Morning dog walking is invigorating and enjoyable at Swift-Cantrell Park.
City officials and business owners cut the ribbon to showcase a new opening.
Police officers start the recruiting process early.
Shop at our Farmers Market for fresh produce, baked goods & other items from May-October.
Mayor Mathews invites future community leaders to participate in City Council meetings.
The Police Honor Guard is specially trained to represent the department at formal functions.
The Civil War era comes to life at the Southern Museum and in annual battle re-enactments.
The annual Pigs & Peaches BBQ Festival features a Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned contest.
Gather your paints brushes or camera and get inspired at Smith-Gilbert Gardens.
Enthusiastic and dedicated staff provide first-rate support of the citys trails, parks and facilities.
Hundreds of volunteers maintain the beautiful flora at the 16 acre Smith-Gilbert Gardens.
The Citys two community parks offer families hours of recreation and relaxation.
Children celebrate Arbor Day by planting a tree in the Garden at Swift-Cantrell Park.
Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Park offers a bird-eye view of the city and surrounding area.
A new pedestrian underpass provides safe passage between Main St. and the Depot.
The City offers free wireless internet in parks & city facilities.
The Annual Big Shanty Festival features crafts, food, & shows attracting over 50,000 visitors.