Kennesaw, Georgia

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City of Kennesaw
Kennesaw City Hall
Kennesaw City Hall
Location in Cobb County and the state of Georgia
Location in Cobb County and the state of Georgia
Kennesaw is located in Georgia (U.S. state)
Location of Kennesaw in Metro Atlanta
Kennesaw is located in the United States
Kennesaw (the United States)
Kennesaw is located in Metro Atlanta
Kennesaw (Metro Atlanta)
Coordinates: 34°1′24″N 84°36′55″W / 34.02333°N 84.61528°W / 34.02333; -84.61528Coordinates: 34°1′24″N 84°36′55″W / 34.02333°N 84.61528°W / 34.02333; -84.61528
CountryUnited States
IncorporatedSeptember 21, 1887
 • MayorDerek Easterling (R)
 • Total9.82 sq mi (25.44 km2)
 • Land9.71 sq mi (25.16 km2)
 • Water0.11 sq mi (0.27 km2)
1,089 ft (332 m)
 • Total29,783
 • Estimate 
 • Density3,517.45/sq mi (1,358.03/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)770/678/470
FIPS code13-43192[3]
GNIS feature ID0316387[4]

Kennesaw is a city in Cobb County, Georgia, United States, located in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area. Known from its original settlement in the 1830s until 1887 as Big Shanty, it became Kennesaw under its 1887 charter. It had a population of 29,783 according to the 2010 census.[5] Kennesaw has an important place in railroad history. During the Civil War, Kennesaw was the staging ground for the Great Locomotive Chase on April 12, 1862. The city is perhaps best known nationally today for its mandatory gun-possession ordinance.[6]


The name "Kennesaw" is derived from the Cherokee word gah-nee-sah, meaning cemetery or burial ground.[7]


As the Western and Atlantic Railroad were 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".[8]

Civil War[edit]

Camp MacDonald, a training camp, was located there from 1861 to 1863.[9]

During the 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,[10] 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 have been taken by people with metal detectors.

Later history[edit]

L.C. Chalker purchased a 1.25-acre (0.51 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 1950s. 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.

In March 2004, First Lady Laura Bush designated Kennesaw a Preserve America Community.[11]


Kennesaw is located in northwestern Cobb County, bordered by the city of Acworth to the northwest. 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.

U.S. Route 41 and State Route 3 pass through the city as Cobb Parkway, leading southeast 7 miles (11 km) to Marietta and northwest 17 miles (27 km) to Cartersville. Interstate 75 passes just northeast of the city limits, with access from exits 269, 271, and 273. Via I-75, downtown Atlanta is 27 miles (43 km) to the southeast, and Chattanooga, Tennessee is 94 miles (151 km) northwest.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Kennesaw has a total area of 9.5 square miles (24.7 km2), of which 9.4 square miles (24.4 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.3 km2), or 1.08%, is water.[5]


Kennesaw has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa). On November 22, 1992, an F-4 tornado caused 34 injuries.

Climate data for Kennesaw, Georgia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 80
Average high °F (°C) 52
Average low °F (°C) 30
Record low °F (°C) −12
Average precipitation inches (mm) 4.86
Source: [12]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201834,172[2]14.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]

As of the census[3] 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% White, 22.3% Black, 10.8% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 5.3% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 0.02% Pacific Islander (U.S. Census), 4.7% of other races, 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 3.18.

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.


Personal income[edit]

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.[14][15]


The city hall[16] is located downtown, just off Main Street (old U.S. 41 and State Route 3, later State Route 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,[17] and serviced by the Cobb County Fire Department, as neither city has its own fire department.

Wireless Internet in city parks[edit]

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. The city has also provided Wi-Fi in the Ben Robertson Community Center.[18]

Crime statistics[edit]

In 2001, violent crime rates were about 60% below national and state rates. Property crime rates were from 46–56% below national and state rates. From 1999 to 2011, Kennesaw crime statistics reported that both property and violent crimes had decreased, though from 2003 to 2008 the trend in both violent and property crime rates slightly increased.[19] The increase in crime rate overall is attributed to the population growth rate of 37.41%. The population growth rate is much higher than the state average rate of 18.34% and is much higher than the national average rate of 9.71%.[20]

County services[edit]

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).

Gun law[edit]

Kennesaw is noted for its unique firearms legislation in response to Morton Grove, Illinois' law mandating gun prohibition. In 1982 the city passed an ordinance [Sec 34-21]:[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.

Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History

Local attractions[edit]


Public schools are provided by the Cobb County School District, including Big Shanty Intermediate School.[25][clarification needed]

Elementary schools include Bullard,[26] Chalker,[27] Hayes,[28] Kennesaw,[29] and Lewis.[30]

Middle schools include Awtrey,[31] Lost Mountain,[32] McClure,[33] Palmer,[34] and Pine Mountain.[35]

High schools include Harrison High School,[36] Kennesaw Mountain,[37] North Cobb,[38] and Kennesaw Charter Science & Math Academy.[39]

Private schools include Sunbrook Academy at Legacy Park,[40] and Sunbrook Academy at Stilesboro.[41]

Kennesaw State University is located within the city and is part of the University System of Georgia.


In 2016, the Atlanta Blaze of Major League Lacrosse played their first year of play as an expansion franchise with home games at Fifth Third Bank Stadium on the campus of Kennesaw State University.[42] The team relocated in 2019.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2018 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Feb 12, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Kennesaw city, Georgia". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  6. ^ Jimenez, Omar (March 7, 2018). "In this American town, guns are required by law". CNN. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  7. ^ "Digital Commons Kennesaw". 2014. Retrieved 2015-02-08.
  8. ^ "How Big Shanty Got Its Name". Trade Day News. Kennesaw, Georgia. April 23–24, 1977. p. 9.
  9. ^ "Georgia Forts: page 7".
  10. ^ "Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park – Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park". Retrieved 2012-07-12.
  11. ^ "Preserve America – Explore and Enjoy Our Heritage". 2012-07-03. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
  12. ^ "Monthly Averages for Kennesaw, GA (30152)".
  13. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  14. ^ "JRM Management Services". Retrieved 2012-07-11.
  15. ^ "".
  16. ^ (34°01′24″N 84°37′00″W / 34.0233°N 84.6167°W / 34.0233; -84.6167 (Kennesaw City Hall))
  17. ^ "911 Home Page". Retrieved 2012-07-12.
  18. ^ "Kennesaw Wi-Fi". Kennesaw Wi-Fi. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
  19. ^ "Kennesaw Crime Rate Report (Georgia)".
  20. ^ "Kennesaw Population and Races (Georgia)".
  21. ^ "Municode Library".
  22. ^ "USA Today Travel". Retrieved 2012-07-11.
  23. ^ "Museum of History & Holocaust Education". Archived from the original on 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
  24. ^ "About the Gallery | Archives, Rare Books & Records Management". Retrieved 2012-07-12.
  25. ^ "Big Shanty Intermediate School".
  26. ^ "Bullard Elementary School".
  27. ^ "Chalker Elementary School".
  28. ^ "Hayes Elementary School".
  29. ^ "Kennesaw Elementary School".
  30. ^ "Lewis Elementary School".
  31. ^ "Awtrey Middle School".
  32. ^ "Lost Mountain Middle School".
  33. ^ "McClure Middle School- Home of the Mavericks".
  34. ^ "Palmer Middle School".
  35. ^ "Pine Mountain Middle School".
  36. ^ "Home - Harrison High School".
  37. ^ "Kennesaw Mountain High School".
  38. ^ "North Cobb High School".
  39. ^ ".: Kennesaw Charter".
  40. ^ "Daycare in Kennesaw, Georgia - Sunbrook Academy at Legacy Park".
  41. ^ "Preschool in Kennesaw, GA - Sunbrook Academy at Stilesboro".
  42. ^ "Major League Lacrosse".
  43. ^ Jesse James Dupree at AllMusic
  44. ^ "Error".
  45. ^ "Ron Lester"., Inc. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  46. ^ "Sean O'Pry - Model".
  47. ^ "Mathew W. Pitsch". Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  48. ^ "Rich Shertenlieb Joins The Hurley Edition Podcast: Fred And I Are Like A Gang". 2017-11-09. Retrieved 2018-07-07.
  49. ^ "'MacGyver' reboot films at Austell restaurant". Marietta Daily Journal. January 17, 2017. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  50. ^ "Exempt player bios at". Retrieved 2012-07-12.

External links[edit]