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Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
State Street in Kennett Square
State Street in Kennett Square
Location in Chester County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Location in Chester County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
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Coordinates: 39°50′39″N 75°42′38″W / 39.84417°N 75.71056°W / 39.84417; -75.71056Coordinates: 39°50′39″N 75°42′38″W / 39.84417°N 75.71056°W / 39.84417; -75.71056
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Chester
Settled 1682
Area
 • 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)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 6,072
 • Estimate 
(2019)
6,202
 • Density 5,823.47/sq mi (2,247.79/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
19348
Area code(s) 610 and 484
FIPS code 42-39352

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 500 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. Located in the Delaware Valley, Kennett Square is considered a suburb of both Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware. The local high school is Kennett High School. The last official US census, which occurred in 2010, recorded a population of 6,072 in Kennett Square. The US census now predicts the population to be 6,202 as of July 2019. It is also the birthplace of the sister of the 46th and current president of the United States, Valerie Biden.

History

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 that 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 the subject and setting of the novel The Story Of Kennett, written by 19th-century American author Bayard Taylor, who lived nearby at Cedarcroft.

Geography

Kennett Square is located at 39°50′39″N 75°42′38″W / 39.84417°N 75.71056°W / 39.84417; -75.71056 (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.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 606
1870 884 45.9%
1880 1,021 15.5%
1890 1,326 29.9%
1900 1,516 14.3%
1910 2,049 35.2%
1920 2,308 12.6%
1930 3,091 33.9%
1940 3,375 9.2%
1950 3,699 9.6%
1960 4,355 17.7%
1970 4,876 12.0%
1980 4,715 −3.3%
1990 5,218 10.7%
2000 5,273 1.1%
2010 6,072 15.2%
2020 5,936 −2.2%
Sources:

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.

Events

The Mushroom Festival, Kennett Square, PA
The 2011 Mushroom Festival

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.

Points of interest

  • Longwood Gardens
  • State & Union
  • Kennett Meetinghouse
  • Anson B Nixon Park
  • The Kennett Flash Listening Venue [1]
  • Talula's Table
  • The Woodlands at Phillips
  • The Mushroom Cap
  • Half Moon Restaurant & Saloon
  • Sam's Sub Shop
  • The Centre for Vibrant Living
  • La Michoacana Ice Cream
  • Philter Coffee
  • Liberty Place Markets
  • Lily's Asian Restaurant
  • Taste of Puebla Restaurant
  • Kennett Area YMCA
  • Portabellos of Kennett Square
  • Sinclair's Sunrise Cafe
  • Kennett Brewing Company [2]

Education

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. Students enrolled in kindergarten attend the Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center. 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. 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 but not in the Kennett Square borough limits, 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.

In 2012, St. Patrick, a Catholic grade school located on Meredith Street in the borough, closed.

Notable people

  • 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
  • Dugald C. Jackson, (1865-1951) electrical engineer, head of the Department of Electrical Engineering of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 1907 to 1935.
  • 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
  • Collin Walsh (born 1992), musician with the pop punk band Grayscale
  • Harry Whitney (1873–1936), Arctic hunter, author, and adventurer
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