Kennesaw is a city in Cobb County, Georgia, United States. The population was 21,675 at the 2000 census. Census estimates as of 2005 indicate a population of 30,522. The original name for the town was Big Shanty, and it is now considered a suburb of Atlanta.
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
now contains many of these historic areas, though much of this land has been developed
, and some buried artifacts
taken by people with metal detectors
. Kennesaw Mountain
(as well as conjoined Little Kennesaw Mountain
) is included in the park, and its summit is the highest point in the Atlanta metro area
, at an elevation of 1808 feet or 551 meters above sea level
. The city was renamed for the mountain.
The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History is located downtown, next to the Western & Atlantic railroad tracks on Cherokee Street, just off of 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). The area around Kennesaw is also a major retail hub with a major regional mall, Town Center at Cobb, numerous restaurants and most major chain stores located along Barrett Parkway southeast of the city.
Preserve America Community
In March 2004, Kennesaw was designated a Preserve America Community
by First Lady Laura Bush
. The Preserve America program is a White House
effort to encourage and support community efforts for the historic preservation
and enjoyment of America’s priceless cultural
and natural heritage
This program recognizes and designates communities that protect and celebrate their heritage, use their historic assets for economic development and community revitalization, and encourage people to experience and appreciate local historic resources through education and heritage tourism programs.
"10 best towns for families"
The city of Kennesaw was selected by Family Circle
magazine as one of the nation's "10 best towns for families". The article appears in the magazine's August 2007
edition. The publication announced the results of its search to identify the best communities across the country that combine big-city opportunities with suburban charm, a blend of affordable housing
, good jobs, top-rated public schools
(part of the Cobb County School District
), wide-open spaces, and a lot less stress
Family Circle partnered with On Board, a New York city research firm providing real estate and demographic data to assemble a list of 1,850 towns with populations between 15,000 and 150,000 and a large concentration of households with an average income of $65,000. From that number, 800 localities were selected based on family-friendly criteria, including cost of living, jobs, schools, health care, air quality, green space and crime rate. Family Circle assessed which towns best met those standards and ranked them according to state. The winners were selected from the highest-rated towns in the top 10 nationwide.
Kennesaw City Hall
Kennesaw's city hall
is located downtown
, just off Main Street
(old U.S. 41
and Georgia 3
, later Georgia 293
). It houses the offices of mayor
and city council
on the middle (entry) level
, the city jail
in the basement
, and the small 9-1-1 call center
and other offices on the upper level. It is the public-safety answering point
not only for the city of Kennesaw, but for the neighboring city of Acworth as well, and dispatches
the separate police departments
of both cities. Calls
for fire services are relayed to and dispatched from Cobb'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
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 and Adams Parks, and the train depot
area across from the Southern Museum of Locomotive History and Civil War. In addition, the City has provided WiFi
in the Ben Robertson Community Center
On May 1, 1982 the city passed an ordinance [Sec 34-1a]
requiring every head of household
to maintain a firearm
together with ammunition
. It was passed partly in response to a 1981 handgun ban in Morton Grove, Illinois
. Kennesaw's law was amended in 1983 to exempt those who conscientiously object to owning a firearm, convicted felons, those who cannot afford a firearm, and those with a mental or physical disability that would prevent them from owning a firearm. It mentions no penalty for its violation. According to the Kennesaw Historical Society
, no one has ever been charged under the ordinance.
Reports of resulting burglary-rate statistics
, a criminologist and gun-control critic attributes a drop of 89% in the residential burglary rate to the law. Kennesaw is often cited by advocates of gun ownership as evidence that gun ownership deters crime. (see, for instance, this 2004 sheet of talking points
from the Gun Owners of America
). Others have challenged this conclusion, however, citing data showing that the number of burglaries in the 10 years spanning the passing of the ordinance remains roughly the same, while burglaries dropped in the city of Morton Grove following their gun ban.. These statistics are in turn disputed because the report in question lacked important considerations such as proportions for the population and growth over time.
Current statistics indicate that Kennesaw's crime rate is lower compared to surrounding cities like Marietta , Smyrna , Alpharetta , or Atlanta
Kennesaw is located at (34.025183, -84.615875).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.5 square miles (22.0 km²), of which, 8.4 square miles (21.9 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.82%) is water.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 21,675 people, 8,099 households, and 5,782 families residing in the city. The population density
was 2,568.3 people per square mile (991.6/km²). There were 8,670 housing units at an average density of 1,027.3/sq mi (396.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 81.97% White
, 1.90% Black, 5.22% Native American
, 2.91% Asian
, 0.02% Pacific Islander
, 2.54% from other races
, and 2.45% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 6.20% of the population.
There were 8,099 households out of which 40.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.7% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.6% were non-families. 22.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.12.
In the city the population was spread out with 27.7% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 42.1% from 25 to 44, 17.1% from 45 to 64, and 5.8% 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 91.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $60,404 and the median income for a family was $67,778. Males had a median income of $45,253 versus $33,660 for females. The per capita income
for the city was $24,757. About 3.1% of families and 4.5% of the population were below the poverty line
, including 4.8% of those under age 18 and 12.5% of those age 65 or over.
Kennesaw Elementary School and Big Shanty Intermediate School are two elementary schools
Kennesaw State University is located just east of the city limits, and uses the silhouette of the two mountains as its logo.
There is a high school, established in 2001, which is called Kennesaw Mountain High School, Mustang is its symbol.
The First Baptist Church of Kennesaw also maintains First Baptist Christian School of Kennesaw, a Christian elementary school. St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church has a K-5 elementary school.