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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.
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.”
The name Kennesaw is derived from the Cherokee Indian word gah-nee-sah meaning cemetery, or burial ground.
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.
Kennesaw has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa).
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.
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.