Kennesaw, Georgia is a small city that’s rich in history. The town, which sits in north Cobb County, is made up of less than 35,000 residents.
The Civil War played a major role in defining the town. In 1861, a training camp for soldiers fighting in the Civil War was established in Kennesaw (then known as Big Shanty). A flurry of activity followed, including a major battle and the beginning of the Great Locomotive Chase. After the war, the town was in ruins as it had completely burned down.
Reconstruction began in the 1870s, and by the 1880s, the area had been officially incorporated as Kennesaw.
The city’s past is reflected in its local Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History. The museum is affiliated with the Smithsonian, allowing it to feature traveling Smithsonian exhibits and lecturers.
From past to present
In addition to recognizing its historical involvement in the Civil War, the town embraces its Southern roots by way of several festivals each year. The Big Shanty Festival brings in visitors double the city’s size to celebrate Kennesaw’s history and Civil War heritage. Meanwhile, the Pigs & Peaches Festival is as southern as it gets. Attendees meet at a local park for two days every year to enjoy barbecue, peach cobbler and country music.
To keep citizens happy and healthy on an everyday basis, the Kennesaw government invests significantly in its parks. Walking trails are abundant throughout city, and the town’s “Fit City Kennesaw” program encourages citizens to fully utilize them.
Kennesaw and its famous law
You may have heard about Kennesaw’s unique stance on reducing crime rates. In 1982, the city passed a law requiring every head of household to own a firearm along with ammunition.
According to the Kennesaw government website, the law has proven to be effective. It states, “After passage of the law, the burglary rate in Kennesaw declined, and today the city has the lowest crime rate in Cobb County.”
Quick hits: Kennesaw
Population: The town is home to 32,000 residents, according to 2014 data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Home values: The median listing price for a home in Kennesaw is $245,000, according to the Zillow Home Value Index. The median list price per square foot is $115.
Transportation: The city is not serviced by the MARTA, but commuter buses connect residents to nearby MARTA stops.
Education: The main campus of Kennesaw State University is located right outside the city. With an enrollment of approximately 35,000 students, it is Georgia’s third-largest university.
The city is served by six elementary schools, five middle schools and four high schools.
Government: Derek Easterling, Mayor, oversees all city affairs.