Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
Kennett Square is a borough in Chester County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is known as the Mushroom Capital of the World because mushroom farming in the region produces over a million pounds of mushrooms a year, totaling half of the United States mushroom crop. To celebrate this heritage, Kennett Square has an annual Mushroom Festival, where the town shuts down to have a parade, tour mushroom farms, and buy and sell food and other goods. It is also home to the corporate headquarters of Genesis HealthCare which administers elderly care facilities. The local high school is Kennett High School. Its population was 6,072 at the 2010 census.
Borough of Kennett Square
State Street in Kennett Square
Location of Kennett Square in Pennsylvania
Kennett Square (the United States)
|Coordinates: 39°50′39″N 75°42′38″W|
|• Total||1.07 sq mi (2.78 km2)|
|• Land||1.06 sq mi (2.76 km2)|
|• Water||0.01 sq mi (0.02 km2)|
|Elevation||328 ft (100 m)|
|• Density||5,797.18/sq mi (2,237.64/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Area code(s)||610 and 484|
The area to become known as Kennett Square was originally inhabited by the Lenape Native Americans. The town was originally called Kennet Square, with the name "Kennet", England, and "Square" coming from the original land grant from William Penn of one square mile. General Sir William Howe marched through Kennett to the Battle of Brandywine during the American Revolution. It was also known as an important part of the Underground Railroad, which helped slaves escaping to the North for freedom. Many of its prominent citizens helped slaves escape on the Underground Railroad. In 1853, a group asked for Kennett Square to be incorporated, and by 1855 it held elections.
Kennett Square's founder is credited with introducing mushroom growing to the area. He grew carnations, a popular local commodity around 1885, and wanted to make use of the wasted space under the elevated beds. He imported spawn from Europe and started experimenting with mushroom cultivation.
Kennett Square is located at 39°50′39″N 75°42′38″W (39.844104, −75.710654).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2), all of it land other than two small lakes.
At the 2010 census, the borough was 42.8% non-Hispanic White, 7.2% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.8% Asian, and 3.3% were two or more races. 48.8% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.
As of the census of 2010, there were 6,072 people, 1,868 households, and 1,242 families residing in the borough. The population density was 4,679.2 people per square mile (1,801.7/km²). There were 1,967 housing units at an average density of 1,745.5 per square mile (672.1/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 73.58% White, 10.26% African American, 0.09% Native American, 1.63% Asian, 12.48% from other races, and 1.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 27.88% of the population.
There were 1,868 households, out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.2% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% were non-families. Of all households 28.2% were made up of individuals, and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.39.
In the borough the population was spread out, with 24.8% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.8 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $46,523, and the median income for a family was $54,948. Males had a median income of $35,978 versus $27,246 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $22,292. About 7.5% of families and 9.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.9% of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over.
The borough is governed by the Council-Manager form of government. There are seven Council Members and a mayor who are elected by the citizens. The Borough Manager is an employee of the Borough, hired by the Council. The present interim Borough manager is Joseph Scalise.
The Kennett Mushroom Festival is held annually in early September. The festival has been highlighted on Food TV. Annual parades are held on Memorial Day, Halloween, and before the Christmas holidays. Kennett Square celebrates Cinco de Mayo, which is organized by Casa Guanajuato, and other local companies. A free summer concert series is held on Wednesday evenings at the beautiful (over 100 acre) Anson B Nixon park. In mid-May, the famous Kennett Run occurs that ends at the Park pavilion. The Kennett Brewfest is held each Fall, featuring unlimited tastings of select brewers pouring different, rare, exclusive, limited, or seasonal beers. The local art galleries, studios, and independent boutiques participate in First Friday Art Strolls each month, presented by Historic Kennett Square. During temperate months there is an outdoor farmers market at the Genesis Walkway on State St. every Friday afternoon. These are but a few of the events for families and visitors throughout the year.
Kennett Square schools are all part of the Kennett Consolidated School District. This grouping of districts was the first consolidation of schools in the history of Pennsylvania (website). Students enrolled in kindergarten attend the Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center (website). Grades 1 through 5 attend either Greenwood Elementary, () Bancroft Elementary () or New Garden Elementary. For grades 6 through 8, all students attend Kennett Middle School (website). For grades 9 through 12, students then attend Kennett High School.
Some homes, north of the US Route 1 by-pass, just north of Kennett Square, are assigned to the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District. Unionville High school, the only one in the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District, is located on Unionville Road (Pennsylvania State Route 82) approximately 2 miles north of the Borough of Kennett Square.
Kennett Square has three newspapers which cover local news, The Chester County Press (website), covering portions of the county, the Kennett Paper, (website), covering Kennett Square and environs, and the Daily Local News, a daily, covering the entire county. There are also two print magazines, Fig Kennett (figkennett.com) and Kennett Square Today (website).
There is an internet radio station, BrandywineRadio.com, headquartered in the center of town which started on June 2, 2008. It focuses on local news, weather, traffic, and sports in the Brandywine Valley including Chester County, Delaware County, and New Castle County, DE.
- Marino Auriti (1891–1980), artist and mechanic best known as the creator of The Encyclopedic Palace of the World
- Pat Ciarrocchi (born 1953), broadcast journalist
- Bartholomew Fussell (1794-1871), Abolitionist active in the Underground Railroad, Early advocate for careers of women in medicine
- Mike Grady (1869–1943), Major League Baseball player
- Doris Grumbach (born 1918), writer
- John Honnold (1915-2011), law professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School
- Bruce Johnston (criminal) (1939–2002), head of notorious Johnston Gang
- Herb Pennock (1894–1948), Hall of Fame baseball pitcher also known as the Squire of Kennett Square
- Jessica Savitch (1947–1983), broadcast journalist
- William Marshall Swayne (1828–1918), sculptor
- Bayard Taylor (1825–1878), writer
- Eric Theiss (born 1970), TV Personality, author and culinary expert
- Collin Walsh (born 1992), Musician of the Pop Punk band, Grayscale
- Harry Whitney (1873–1936), Arctic hunter, author, and adventurer
Points of interest
- Kaolin Mushroom Farms
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Southern Chester County, Pennsylvania
- "Historic Kennett Square". Historic Kennett Square. Retrieved Jul 14, 2017.
- "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Mar 24, 2019.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved September 8, 2019.
- "Mushroom Capital".
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 26 April 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- "Census 2010: Pennsylvania". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
- Bureau, U.S. Census. "American FactFinder - Community Facts". factfinder.census.gov.
- "FoodTV Episode".
- Carey, Art (2008-03-28). "Kennett Square barber immortalizes local baseball stars". Philadelphia Inquire. Archived from the original on 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
- "Eric Theiss". Eric Theiss.
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