The city of Woodstock, located at the southern border of Cherokee County, is one of the county’s oldest communities. It was founded in 1831 as a mining and agricultural community. The mining was primarily for gold - there was a “gold belt” about 10 miles wide that passed through the area and prompted a gold rush in northern Georgia in 1828. Most of the 150 or so gold mines that sprung up along the gold belt closed within a few decades, although production was high enough to justify building a US Mint in Dahlonega, where thousands of gold coins were minted from Georgia gold.
The existence of gold in Georgia led to the eviction of the native Cherokee, who mined gold in what were called the Sixes mines around modern-day Canton. In a movement known as the Trail of Tears, the Cherokee were marched to reservations established for them in Oklahoma in an episode that remains a blot on American history.
Agriculture in Woodstock fared well in great part because of an abundance of fresh, clear water in the Etowah River, Noonday Creek, and Little River that powered local grist mills. In addition, the Little River, at a point just east of where Interstate 575 passes over the river, powered the Woodstock Rope Mill, which produced high-quality rope from Woodstock-grown cotton. The rope mill closed in 1949, however, and today the largest industries in the city are retail, health care, and manufacturing.