||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (September 2010)|
|Cobb County and the state of Georgia|
|Incorporated||September 21, 1887|
|• Mayor||Mark Mathews (R)|
|• Total||8.5 sq mi (22.0 km2)|
|• Land||8.4 sq mi (21.9 km2)|
|• Water||0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)|
|Elevation||1,089 ft (332 m)|
|• Density||3,500/sq mi (1,400/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0316387|
Kennesaw is a city in Cobb County, Georgia, United States, located in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area. It had a population of 29,783 according to the 2010 census. Founded in 1887, Kennesaw has a past surrounded with railroad history. During the Civil War, Kennesaw was the staging ground for the Great Locomotive Chase on April 12, 1862.
In 2007, the city was selected by Family Circle magazine as one of the nation's "10 best towns for families". The city is perhaps best known nationally for its mandatory gun-possession ordinance.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Government
- 6 Controversies
- 7 Local attractions
- 8 Education
- 9 Notable people
- 10 References
- 11 External links
As the Western and Atlantic Railroad was being built in the late 1830s, shanties arose to house the workers. These were near a big spring. A grade up from the Etowah River became known as "the big grade to the shanties, then "Big Shanty Grade," and finally "Big Shanty."
Civil War and after
Camp MacDonald, a training camp was located there from 1861-1863.
During the American Civil War, Big Shanty was the site of major fighting in the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, part of the larger Atlanta Campaign. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, located southeast of the city limits, now contains many of these historic areas, though much of the surrounding land has been developed, and some buried artifacts taken by people with metal detectors.
L.C. Chalker purchased a 1.25 acres (0.506 ha) tract of land adjacent to the Kennesaw Cemetery from J.W. Ellis in 1934, which was sold for burial purposes. Chalker purchased another 1 acre (0.40 ha) adjacent to the first parcel in 1948, which was also to be used for a cemetery. The Chalker family managed these portions of the cemetery until they were sold to the City of Kennesaw in the mid 50's. The earliest known burial is the infant Lucius B. Summers, who was interred in 1863. Other grave markers date as far back as the 1860s to the 1890s. Civil War veterans are buried here. The cemetery is still in use.
The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History is located downtown, next to the Western & Atlantic railroad tracks on Cherokee Street, just off Main Street (old U.S. 41 and Georgia 3). The museum is the current preservation and display location for The General, the locomotive that played the key role in the Great Locomotive Chase (the Texas which chased it is at the Atlanta Cyclorama).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.5 square miles (22 km2), of which 8.4 square miles (22 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2), or 0.82%, is water.
Kennesaw Mountain is located southeast of the city limits in the battlefield park. Its summit is the highest point in the Atlanta metro area, at an elevation of 1,808 feet (551 m) above sea level. The city was renamed for the mountain.
|Climate data for Kennesaw, Georgia|
|Record high °F (°C)||80
|Average high °F (°C)||52
|Average low °F (°C)||30
|Record low °F (°C)||−12
|Precipitation inches (mm)||4.86
As of the census of 2010, there were 29,783 people, 11,413 households, and 7,375 families residing in the city. There were 12,328 housing units at an average density of 1,027.3 per square mile (396.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 58.9% Caucasian (i.e., Non-Hispanic Whites)(U.S. Census), 22.3% Black, 10.8% Hispanic (U.S. Census) or Latino of any race, 5.3% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 0.02% Pacific Islander (U.S. Census), 4.7% from other Race (U.S. Census), and 3.0% Non-Hispanic Mixed of two or more races.
There were 11,413 households out of which 38.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.0% were married couples living together, 15.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.4% were non-families. 26.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.19.
In the city the population was spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 33.2% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 7.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $61,355 and the median income for a family was $ 75,465 . Males had a median income of $46,953, versus $42,809 for females. The per capita income for the city was $27,165. About 8.2% of families and 11.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.1% of those under age 18 and 13.3% of those age 65 or over.
Several festivals are held annually:
- Every April the annual Big Shanty Festival displays over 200 arts and crafts booths along with 20 food booths downtown. Over 60,000 people from around North Georgia attend the festival. A parade starts the festival.
- The Great Greased Pig Chase
The city hall is located downtown, just off Main Street (old U.S. 41 and Georgia 3, later Georgia 293). It contains the offices of mayor and city council, the city jail in the basement, and a small 9-1-1 call center and other offices. It is the public-safety answering point for the city of Kennesaw and the neighboring city of Acworth, and dispatches the separate police departments of both cities. Calls for fire services are relayed to and dispatched from Cobb County's 911 center, and serviced by the Cobb County Fire Department, as neither city has its own fire department.
Wireless Internet in city parks
In 2008, the city of Kennesaw awarded a bid to Digitel Wireless for the implementation of city wireless Internet. In March 2008, the city of Kennesaw announced the grand opening of four new wireless areas: Swift-Cantrell Park and Adams Park, and the train depot area across from the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History. In addition, the city has provided Wi-Fi in the Ben Robertson Community Center.
In 2001, violent crime rates are about 85% below national and state rates. Property crime rates are from 46-56% below national and state rates. From 1999 to 2011, Kennesaw crime statistics reported an overall upward trend in both violent and property crime rates.
The Cobb County Public Library System operates a Kennesaw branch library. The Cobb County Police Department serves unincorporated areas, including the Town Center Area Community Improvement District and Kennesaw State University (in addition to KSU's own police).
The town is noted for its unusual gun legislation. In 1982 the city passed an ordinance [Sec 34-21]
(a) In order to provide for the emergency management of the city, and further in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants, every head of household residing in the city limits is required to maintain a firearm, together with ammunition therefore.
(b) Exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who suffer a physical or mental disability which would prohibit them from using such a firearm. Further exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who are paupers or who conscientiously oppose maintaining firearms as a result of beliefs or religious doctrine, or persons convicted of a felony.
Gun rights activist David Kopel has claimed that there is evidence that this gun law has reduced the incident rate of home burglaries citing that in the first year, home burglaries dropped from 65 before the ordinance, down to 26 in 1983, and to 11 in 1984. Another report observed a noticeable reduction in burglary from 1981, the year before the ordinance was passed, to 1999. A 2001 media report stated that Kennesaw's crime rates continued to decline and were well below the national average, making citizens feel safer and more secure. Later research claims that there is no evidence that [the law] reduced the rate of home burglaries [in Kennesaw], even though the overall crime rate had decreased by more than 50% between 1982 and 2005.
The city's website claims the city has the lowest crime rate in Cobb county.
2009 racial-discrimination suit
In August 2009, the Marietta Daily Journal published details regarding a lawsuit over racial discrimination filed against the city of Kennesaw and a number of its officials. The city settled the lawsuit, filed in March of that year, for $1.8 million. Three employees of the city's department of public works – two current and one former – alleged racial discrimination amid a hostile work environment. Willie Smith and Stanley Mitchell, who had worked for the city since 1995 and 1987, respectively, were each awarded $414,375.00, while Gary Redd, who had quit in August 2008 after two years, received $234,375.00. Buckley & Klein, the law firm representing the plaintiffs, received $736,875. In exchange, the settlement dismissed all charges filed by the plaintiffs to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), denied all wrongdoing on behalf of the defendants, and stated that plaintiffs cannot "attempt to re-initiate the claims set forth in the civil action".
- Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History
- Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park consists of around 18 miles (29 km) of nature trails and historic Civil War battle sites.
- The Kennesaw State University Museum of History and Holocaust Education
- The Kennesaw State University Bentley Rare Book Room and Archives
- Swift-Cantrell Park was constructed in 2007. It contains, among other facilities, a dog park, several miles of walking trails, playgrounds, three picnic pavilions, and free wireless Internet. A new skate park is under construction and is scheduled to be complete in fall of 2013. It will be the first ever permanent facility in the southeast to feature elements modeled on a street league design as well as the more traditional flow course and bowl.
Public middle schools include: Awtrey, Lost Mountain, McClure, Palmer, and Pine Mountain.
Public elementary schools include: Bullard, Hayes, Lewis, Kennesaw Elementary, Big Shanty Intermediate School, and Kennesaw Charter.
Mount Paran Christian School is a pre k-12 school located on Stanley Road.
The First Baptist Church of Kennesaw maintains the First Baptist Christian School of Kennesaw. St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church has a K-8 elementary school.
- Darvin Adams, former Auburn University and Carolina Panthers wide receiver. Currently plays for the Toronto Argonauts.
- Jesse James Dupree lead singer of American rock band Jackyl
- Yan Kaminsky, professional NHL Left winger Hockey Player 
- Paul Oliver, professional football player
- Sean O'Pry, model
- Hal Suit, Television broadcaster, Republican nominee for governor of Georgia, 1970, lost to Jimmy Carter, resided in Kennesaw.
- Brian Voss, professional ten-pin bowler on the PBA Tour
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Family Circle, August 2007
- [http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/5c1b6a72-c5eb-11df-b53e-00144feab49a.html "Kennesaw, where everyone is armed by law", Financial Times
- "How Big Shanty Got Its Name". Trade Day News (Kennesaw, Georgia). April 23–24, 1977. p. 9.
- Georgia Forts: page 7
- "Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park - Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park". Nps.gov. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- "The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History". Southernmuseum.org. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- "Preserve America - Explore and Enjoy Our Heritage". Preserveamerica.gov. 2012-07-03. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- "Monthly Averages for Kennesaw, GA (30152)".
- "JRM Management Services". Retrieved 7/11/2012.
- "911 Home Page". 911.cobbcountyga.gov. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- "Kennesaw Wi-Fi". Kennesaw Wi-Fi. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- "Kennesaw Crime Rate Report (Georgia)".
- Municipal Code, Kennesaw, Georgia, Article II, Sec. 34-21. - Heads of households to maintain firearms.
- "DaveKopel.org: Amicus Curiae, US Supreme Court:Writ of Certoriari 07-290, District of Columbia vs Dick Heller". 2008-02. [dead link]
- "Crime Plunges in Pro-gun Town". Archive.newsmax.com. 2001-03-28. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- Hemenway, David (2006). Private Guns, Public Health. Ann Arbor, Mich: University of Michigan Press. p. 65. ISBN 0-472-03162-7. "...a careful analysis of the data did not show that guns reduce crime."
- Squires, Peter (2000). Gun culture or gun control?: firearms, violence and society. New York: Routledge. p. 82. ISBN 0-415-17087-7. "Later research, however, found no reduction in Kennesaw burglary rates [but not other violent crime] when the figures were re-examined over a longer time period."
- "25 years murder-free in ‘Gun Town USA’". Wnd.com. 2007-04-19. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- "Our History". Kennesaw-ga.gov. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- Wilson, Brandon (2009-08-27). "Kennesaw doles out $1.8M for racial suit". Marietta Daily Journal. Retrieved 2010-01-14.
- "USA Today Travel". Retrieved 7/11/2012.
- "Museum of History & Holocaust Education". Kennesaw.edu. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- "About the Gallery | Archives, Rare Books & Records Management". Web.kennesaw.edu. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- "Kennesaw State University". Kennesaw.edu. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- Jesse James Dupree at Allmusic
- Thunder AAA Hockey Club powered by GOALLINE.ca
- Sean O'Pry - Model Profile - Photos & latest news
- "Exempt player bios at www.pba.com". Pba.com. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- City of Kennesaw official web site
- Kennesaw WiFi official web site
- Kennesaw State University
- Municipal Code, Kennesaw, GA