Welcome To KEY TO THE CITY's Page For
Kalamazoo County, Michigan
49001, 49002, 49007, 49008, 49009
The Celery City
Chamber of Commerce.
Kalamazoo is an unusual word, how did the city really get its name
The Potawatomi Indians deeded the land that would become Kalamazoo to the government in 1827 and by 1829, settlement of the area had begun. Titus Bronson arrived at thistime and when the town was platted in 1831, he named it after himself. In just two years, the local people grew tired of his argumentative ways and after he was convicted of stealing a cherry tree, they wanted to change the name of their city. The deed was done by26 January 1837 when Michigan became a state. The new name was Kalamazoo. It is largely believed to be a Potawatomi expression, Kikalamazoo but no one is entirely sure of the origin or meaning.
The city name, Kalamazoo, has been used extensively over the years by authors and songwriters. Some ships were even christened with the name. Kalamazoo has also had its share of different nicknames. It was known as the Paper City because of the paper and cardboard mills. When celery became a prevalent crop near town, the city became known as the Celery City, even naming a Celery Queen for a time. It was quipped to be the Mall City when the first outdoor pedestrian mall in the country was built. More recently, it was called the Bedding Plant Capital of the world due to the location of the largest bedding plant cooperative in the U.S. here in Kalamazoo.
The Checker Cab Company was headquartered here in Kalamazoo as well as manufacturing for Gibson guitars, Kalamazoo stoves, Roamer automobile and Shakespeare fishing rods and reels. William Erastus Upjohn moved here and started the Upjohn Pill and Granule Company, now a world leader in the pharmaceutical industry. Frank Lloyd Wright designed and built many buildings and homes here in his Usonian style in the late 1940’s.
Try this nice history page for Kalamazoo.
Several ships have had the name of Kalamazoo. this page gives some history of the ship name over the years.
William E. Upjohn – (information from the webpage of the W.E. Upjohn Institute) The W.E. Upjohn Institute had its origin in the depths of the Great Depression of the early 1930s. Dr. W.E. Upjohn, founder and head of the Upjohn Company, (later became Pharmacia, and is now Pfizer) was concerned about the prospects of laying off his own workers and the broader problem of the hardships of the unemployed in the community.
A few weeks before his death in 1932, Dr. Upjohn established the W.E. Upjohn Unemployment Trustee Corporation, which included a sizable parcel of land. Dr. Upjohn conceived of cooperative farming as a means of both maintaining income and preserving personal dignity during periods of widespread unemployment. On the farmland maintained by the Trustee Corporation, he envisioned laid-off workers growing enough food to support their families. It was his hope that this experiment would not only help meet the periodic local problem of joblessness, but also point the way for other communities to cure unemployment.
The present-day Institute was not established until 13 years after Dr. Upjohn set in motion his grand experiment. The farm program did not last long. The federal government soon stepped in to help the jobless by implementing public works programs and establishing an unemployment compensation system. Yet the concern about unemployment and sustainable employment remained a top national priority. The Trustees recognized the changing nature of economic conditions and the need for informed policy making. After consulting with leading social scientists of the day, they established an institute that would focus its resources on research into the causes and consequences of unemployment. On July 1, 1945, the Institute opened its doors and quickly went about creating a program to help returning veterans find jobs.
For sixty years, the Institute has carried out its mission of conducting research and informing policy makers on employment-related issues. We hope that, during the 21st century, researchers and policy makers will continue to look to the Upjohn Institute as a resource and catalyst for those seeking innovative ways to address chronic employment problems.
A.M. Todd - The Peppermint King
He also collected books, art and similar items which he later donated to the local library and colleges in the area. Some of the items are clay tablets dating back to the twenty-third century B.C.
1888 - 1965
Read about his accomplishments in the art field
Born in Middlebury, Connecticut, in November 1788, Bronson later became known as the founder of Kalamazoo
Joseph B. Westnedge
1872 - 1918
Local war hero who served in the MIchigan National Guard in 1894, the Spanish-American War in 1898, in Mexico in 1916 and in World War I. He died in 1918 in Germany of complications from Tonsilitis just days after the war was over.
This is the officially endorsed site for Kalamazoo, Michigan by both the county and the city.
Things to do in Kalamazoo!
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
The museum has 10 galleries with an emphasis on 20th century American painting and sculpture. It also includes other types of exhibits.
Kalamazoo Valley Museum
230 North Rose Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49003
Kalamazoo Air Zoo
Museum of the history of flight
6151 Portage Road
Named for city founder, Titus Bronson, this park features a fountain designed by Alfonse Ianelli. An Indian mound is on the south side and a sculpture in a reflecting pool. It was here that Abraham Lincoln made his speech on his way to Washington to be inaugarated.
A neighborhood designed by famed architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, in the 1940’s.
Kalamazoo Nature Center
7000 N. Westnedge Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Phone: (269) 381-1574
Fax: (269) 381-2557
Connecting people and nature
The 1927 Atmospheric Movie Palace is still being used for concerts.
There are several branches around town: Central (downtown), Eastwood, Oshtemo, Powell, Washington Square and the Traveling Bookmobile
Both the Central library and the Oshtemo Library were featured in the Southwest Michigan American Institute of Architects brochure “Guide to Modern Architecture of Greater Kalamazoo”, published in 2005.
The Kalamazoo Public Library was Library of the Year in 2002. See this page for a history of the library.
Kalamazoo Schools Kalamazoo Public Schools
1220 Howard Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
The district is composed of:
two high schools (9th – 12th grades) and one alternative high school:
Kalamazoo Central H.S.
Loy Norrix H.S. (also featured in the SWMI AIA brochure of Modern Architecture)
Alternative Programs at the JFKennedy Center
One math and science center:
Kalamazoo Math and Science Center
Three middle schools, (7th – 8th grades):
Maple Street Magnet
Sixteen elementary school, (K - 6th grades):
Arcadia, Chime, Edison, Greenwood, Indian Prairie, King-Westwood, Lincoln, Milwood, Northeastern, Northglade, Parkwood-Upjohn, Spring Valley, Washington, Winchell, Woods Lake and Woodward