Kalamazoo: A Short History
In 1829, the first Kalamazoo residents filed into what would become our city. They were weary from their long journey and wanted to build a home in this new land. The settlers found dense forests with many trees that had been cleared by Native Americans for hunting grounds. There was an abundance of wildflowers and wildlife as well as fish in the streams and game animals on the hillsides. These pioneers saw Kalamazoo’s potential for farming, lumbering, iron production, and other industries when they settled here.
Soon, a small settlement grew to become a bustling village, then a city. Kalamazoo SEO was renamed in 1836 for the nearby river that we now know as Trout Creek because of its abundant trout population. That same year, Leonidas W. Powell founded Western Michigan University and our local paper began publishing weekly news reports on what was happening in town.”
In the 20th century, Kalamazoo became a hub of manufacturing, with companies such as Sears Roebuck and Battle Creek Cereal Company (later known as Post Toasties) locating here to take advantage of the water power from our many rivers.
As a city, we began to grow in population and stature throughout the 20th century. Kalamazoo became home to Western Michigan University, which was founded by Leonidas W. Powell in 1836.” “In 1911 it also hosted its first international event-the International Eucharistic Congress–where more than 400 people attended talks on Catholicism’s relationship with politics during World War I before visiting various Catholic churches around town.
The city developed an increasingly diverse economy into the 21st century: Quaker Oats had been purchased for $250 million in 1930 and was sold to Kellogg’s for $353.75 million in 2001, while the Kalamazoo Mall opened its doors on November 17th of 1976.
Many years later, there are roughly 100 000 people living within its limits today – we still exist because generations of hard-working people worked to make Kalamazoo such a lovely place.