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Borough of Kennett Square
Borough
State Street in Kennett Square
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Chester
Elevation 328 ft (100 m)
Coordinates 39°50′39″N 75°42′38″W / 39.84417°N 75.71056°W / 39.84417; -75.71056
Area 1.1 sq mi (2.8 km2)
 - land 1.1 sq mi (3 km2)
 - water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%
Population 5,273 (2000)
Density 4,679.2 /sq mi (1,806.6 /km2)
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code 610
Location of Kennett Square in Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Website: www.kennett-square.pa.us

Kennett Square is a borough in Chester County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is known as the Mushroom Capital of the World[1] because mushroom farming in the region produces over a million pounds of mushrooms a year. 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. Its population was 5,273 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

The area to become known as Kennett Square was originally inhabited by the Lenape Native Americans. The town was first called "Kennett", named after the River Kennett, Berkshire, England. The name "Square" was added to reflect the original land grant of one square mile of territory from William Penn's original land grant. The town was a major point on Baron Wilhelm von Knyphausen and General Sir William Howe's march to the Battle of Brandywine during the American Revolution. In 1853, a group of citizens asked for Kennett Square to be incorporated, and by 1855 it held elections. Many of its prominent citizens helped slaves escape on the Underground Railroad.

Kennett Square's William Swayne 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.

On April 1, 1993, more than 140 workers at Kaolin Mushroom Farms stopped working. Known as the Kaolin Strike, this became one of the most notorious events in the mushroom industry. The workers complained of low wages and mistreatment. Before this, Kaolin had a good reputation as offering high salaries to its employees but was instantly vilified. After 30 days of protests and demonstrations the employees returned to work, although it wasn't until 1999 that negotiations had been resolved.[2]

Kennett Square is the subject and setting of 19th century American author Bayard Taylor's novel, The Story Of Kennett.

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).[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.1 square miles (2.9 km²), all of it land.

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1930 3,091
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%
www.dvrpc.org/data/databull/rdb/db82/appedixa.xls.</ref>

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 5,273 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/sq mi (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. 28.2% of all households 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.

Government

Clock Tower on State Street

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 Borough manager is Brant Kucera.

Events

The Kennett Mushroom Festival is held annually in early September. The festival has been highlighted on Food TV.[5] In early October Kennett Square hosts a microbrew festival. The event draws over 40 breweries and often is sold out. Kennett Square celebrates Cinco de Mayo, which is organized by Casa Guanajuato, and other local companies. April 2008 was the start for the first annual springfestinthepark, held at the beautiful (over 100 acre) Anson B Nixon park. In May, the famous Kennett Run occurs that ends at the Park pavilion. These are but a few of the events for families and visitors throughout the year.

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 (website). Students enrolled in grades K through 5 attend elementary school at one of three schools, chosen by the location of the student's household: Greenwood Elementary (website), New Garden Elementary (website), or Mary D. Lang Elementary (website). For grades 6 through 8, all students attend Kennett Middle School (website). For grades 9 through 12, students then attend Kennett High School.

Media

Kennett Square has three newspapers, The Chester County Press (website), the Kennett Paper, and the Daily Local News. There is also a magazine, Kennett Square Today (website) that covers the area.

A new internet radio station, BrandywineRadio.com, headquartered in the center of town went live 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. Its website is www.brandywineradio.com [1]

Notable inhabitants

Points of interest

References

External links


Cossart Road is a small, windy stretch of road that cuts through a rural section of Pennsbury Township, PA. The road and surrounding area have been the subject to many urban legends throughout the years, ranging from satanic cults, demonic appearances, secret security and the Dupont family. The stories of Cossart Road have have been featured in many publications. It is the lead story of the book, Weird Pennsylvania.[1] written by Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman and has been mentioned in many Pennsylvania and Delaware newspapers during Halloween. The legends have become so popular that vandalism and trespassing have become major problems for the township. On some nights, over 100 cars travel up and down this small rural road in search of the cult house. Because of this, the township had closed the road for a year.[2] While the road is now back open, it is illegal to park or stop on the road. State police also patrol the road heavily and will fine noisy thrillseekers. According to Pennsbury Township, the vandalism along Cossart Road has cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars as numerous signs must be replaced each month and sometimes even weekly.

Contents

Legends

Cult House

The legend of "The Cult House" is also widely known as "Satanville", "Devil's Road", "Skull Tree Road", and "Cult House Road". As the legend states, the "Cult House" is located off Cossart Road in Pennsbury Township. What the "cult house" actually is varies on who is telling the story, but the two most famous variations are that it's either used as a place of ritual for a satanic cult or it belongs to the estate of the Du Ponts, an extremely wealthy family who have been known to have deranged family members.

KKK on Cossart Road

It is also rumored that the Ku Klux Klan have had several meetings on this road. The bend where the trees lean away from the road is supposedly where the group have committed several lynchings.

Skull Tree

Also on the road is a specific tree known mostly as the "Skull Tree", though other names such as the "Fetus Tree" and the "Devil's Tree" have been given. It is given this name because the tree's roots have grown or eroded in such a way that it now appears to take the shape of a human skull. There have also been numerous accounts of people saying that the trees roots form a hand reaching into the ground, instead of the skull. According to Legend, human babies were sacrificed at the base of this tree.

Vehicle chasing/Cossart security

There are hundreds of accounts of people traveling on Cossart Road that end up getting their car followed at tail-gate length, usually by a red pick-up truck or SUV. Though the vehicle's type may change, the story remains usually the same. They are followed by another vehicle with their headlights off, very close to the car. They will usually get followed for the entire road, and sometimes a little on other roads. Most, if not all, can and usually are dismissed as teenage pranks. However, it is also rumored that the trucks often seen intimidating people off the road belong to the security on the road. There are also many accounts of the "security" trucks being able to turn around in the middle of the very small road, which leads to rumors about secret paths or supernatural vehicles, as well as no one being able to clearly see the drivers face.

Truth/debunk

Explanations for the different legends have been given and many of the myths have been debunked by various different people.[3] The most notable debunking of the legend was a documentary done by the Delaware Valley Paranormal Association, formerly BBH Productionz.[4]

Movies

M. Night Shyamalan's film, The Village, was shot in a field off Cossart Road. The spot was chosen because they could not find any other location in their preferred spots.Template:Fact

The Delaware Valley Paranormal Association's (dormerly BBH Productionz) documentary, entitled "The Truth About Cult House", was released on Halloween 2007. The video covers the all the different legends of Cossart Road and claims to prove/disprove the different stories.

Reputedly, parts of the movie At Close Range, based on the true story of the Johnston Gang, were filmed on Cossart Road, and three teenaged murder victims of the gang were shot and buried in a field nearby. See the Wikipedia article "Bruce Johnston (criminal)".

References

  1. http://books.google.com/books?id=G5VdDdAd5rMC&pg=PA12&lpg=PA12&dq=weird+pennsylvania+cossart+road&source=web&ots=_arlQUXxnX&sig=TOX_D8RaHgMJGq2UrVOM5pnkAXo&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result
  2. http://www.pennsbury.pa.us/supervisor_meeting_minutes/Supervisor%20Meeting%20Minutes%202000-04-03.htm
  3. http://steveinmaine.blogspot.com/2007/10/if-i-ever-manage-to-get-totally-random.html
  4. http://www.delvalparanormal.org/culthouse/cultdocumentary.html

External links

1. The official Website Of the Delaware Valley Paranormal Association[http://www.delvalparanormal.org.

2. Link to a 500 post forum topic on Cossart Road[1] Coordinates: 39°50′51″N 75°35′52″W / 39.8475°N 75.59778°W / 39.8475; -75.59778


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